Election fever hits America. In a big way. It’s been ONE & A HALF years in the making and “the day” is almost upon us.
It’s Monday morning here in LA and the nation is abuzz with election fever: people are going to the polls early which means the talk about going to vote must be working.
This isn’t a political Blog, I’m not political but being in America for our first election and there are so many observations I’ve made. This election has played a big part of our daily life here: you can’t escape it.
Some of my observations are unique to America, others are themes emerging in a troubling world.
Here are five things this Aussie girl in LA has noticed over the last year and a half.
1. The money
For God’s sake America. Wake up and smell the coffee. You abandoned the sovereign to create a better world. You rejected all things of the Mother Land because you wanted better. And you created a monster. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: curtail the money spending. If you don’t have it, cut back; you can’t afford it.
I’ve mentioned the amount of money spent on those lengthy campaigns. I’ve talked about those Conventions and how the balloons at the Democratic Convention alone would be enough to feed & house LA’s homeless (unsubstantiated but don’t let truth get in the way of a good argument). Last night we were researching what happens on Wednesday, the day after the election and we got this story.
This struck me:
“Once either Clinton or Trump has been declared winner the new president-elect will be … given a multi-million dollar budget.
In 2008, Barack Obama was said to have employed a 450-person team at a cost of $12 million. Of that, $5.2 million as reportedly paid for by the US Government, with the remaining $6.8 million coming from private sources.”
I get that it takes money to do these things, and that people cost money, blah, blah, blah. It just seems to be like a sh*t load of money they don’t actually have.
And can we talk for a minute about the big-time donors lining the politicians pockets, eg the NRA. I’m not saying any new here but, they’re doing that for their own gain and not for the greater good. All that money. Feed the homeless, help the refugees, feed the world and all that. Ouch. Just ouch.
2. The media
I hate to say this but Donald Trump is right: the media is against him. It’s not half obvious. With the exception of Fox News (which I refuse to watch) no one is on Donald Trump’s side.
Don’t get me wrong, I get it. But still. There is no such thing as unbiased reporting in this country. But in lots of ways that unbiased reporting has failed: there are still all those bloody Trump supporters out there, so loyal and so one-eyed that they fail to see anything the media is trying to tell them.
Yes, the media is having a field day with record viewers following the greatest circus on earth. I’ll be so grateful when it’s over. I’m even looking forward to Viagra ads in place of the political ads. Prop this Prop that. Vote. Vote for me, vote for her, don’t vote for them. It’s when I’m grateful other countries like Australia only have a short election cycle.
3. The pride Americans take in announcing who they vote for
No one keeps who they vote for a secret. It’s all out there for everyone to see and debate. They’re so proud of who they vote for, which party they follow.
In contrast few people really talk about who they vote for in Australia. It’s certainly not widely known, nor is it typically dinner party conversation. It can be assumed and guessed about but not always qualified.
I don’t know who Mr H votes for. For as long as I’ve known him he’s always told us he’s voted for the Donkey. (In Australia it’s compulsory to vote; if you don’t you get fined. People who don’t want to vote properly incorrectly fill in their voting form and that is known as a Donkey vote). He swears he doesn’t by the way but I’ll never know.
4. The system is so bloody complicated
My son is studying US History this year so has been able to explain some of the concepts and history behind the way this system works. I love that he can do that as it helps to understand so much without being my “we’re so much better in Australia” diatribe.
I’ve just heard about the Electoral College having the final say. So this group of “mainly-middle-aged-men” to the people and “a fair representation of the people” officially, meets to vote on who should be President and Vice-President.
Here’s a good video from the History Channel to illustrate:
So, I’ve learnt about the nomination process, Conventions, caucuses and Primaries and now I’ve been introduced to the Electoral College.
Wondering if the Electoral College actually votes in someone other than the people’s vote? Me too. In 2000, for example, Al Gore got more votes than George W Bush but George W got the Electoral College vote. Guess who was President?
Oh god no. Please don’t …
5. The heroes and the villains
This morning I woke up to one of my favourite Blogs in the world’s Facebook post with this interview:
I have given my American friends such a hard time about these elections. But what about this guy? This guy who I’ve found the day before the election. Good on you mate. You are absolutely what America stands for, why Americans are such a pain in the ass–because they are so damned patriotic and believe–only because we are envious of you. There are loads of people like you but, like you, we’ve seen the ugly. Fuelled by Trump and the media we are seeing far too much of ugly America. If you are as you say, and this happened as you said, you are not.
You are a hero.
So who are the villains?
Well that’s easy: Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a bully. He is bigly awful. Full stop. Period. Go away Donald Trump; you’re bringing out the worst in your followers. You are bringing us back decades. Nothing you say has substance and nothing you do is inspiring.
The day after the night before
What will you be doing on Wednesday? My son and his friends were pondering what a weird day Wednesday will be: the aftermath. I couldn’t agree more. But these guys aren’t President straight away. Obama still has time to “finish doing what he set out to do” and come January 20, 2017 at noon the new President and Vice-President will be sworn in.
So there’ll still be plenty of time for the media to ease their way out of it gently. Please let go, please move on.
In the meantime good luck world.
Good Luck America.
xx It Started in LA xx
PS: There is a petition to shorten America’s election cycle. If you agree with Sheryl Crowe that it needs some help click here and have your say.
PPS: If Trump gets in do you think that Wall will be strong enough to fight the stampede out of the US? The mind boggles.
Headline image by Lipton sale (talk) – self-made, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
[…] or not, just under half America voted for him. (He won through the Electoral College vote—see my previous Blog for an explanation). The question in my mind—and many others’—is did they vote for him […]