Note from Joseph M – This link was sent to me by a friend – what a refreshing and interesting look at our self-important, self-indulgent elections. Gina, this is amazing.
Originally posted on kiwimormon:
So its election year in the US. It’s the year that we get to trust the American public to select the ‘leader of the free world’ (whatever that rather presumptuous aphorism means?). It’s the year that our news programmes at the ends of the earths are clogged with the latest from the US hustings which will dump endless medium shots of Romney with his immaculate pompadour, and Obama with his smug smile on us. We New Zealanders get to look on as who knows how many millions and millions of US dollars are stuffed down the proverbial drain to support two campaigns to elect yet another impotent American President. A President whose most aggressive opponents in bringing about reform and transformation to America will not be sitting on the opposite side of the house from him, but will consist of a voracious commercial sector, a rapacious industrial military complex, and the intransigent mythologies of America’s halcyon days long since past that will buzz incessantly in his ears from the pulpits of thousands of congregations across the continent.
For us New Zealand Mormons the contest leading up to November is even more interesting because of Romney. In the last six months I’ve actually been asked for whom I would cast my vote in the American Presidentials more times than I was asked about my political preferences in my own country’s recent elections. It seems very difficult for people outside our faith tradition to disaggregate our religious identity from the country from whence that faith tradition was born. Just as Catholics are a bit from Rome, and Jews are a bit from Jerusalem, Mormons all over the world are just a little bit from Utah and are therefore a bit American whether we like it or not.
I don’t particularly like it all. Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting the US and adore my American friends. I love ‘In and Out Burgers’, and the cute way Americans say ‘swap out’ instead of ‘change over’. I adore the way they are nostalgic about the Imperial System of measurement while the rest of the world has gone metric. I love that most Americans would be largely unaware of the fact that the rest of the world has gone metric. I love the way the Americans can talk with a pitch, pace and volume that I can’t possibly replicate. I love their good teeth and the way they whoop and holler when they go to the bowling alley as if all future joys in life depend on the ‘strike’. I think its sweet that they blush when they hear ‘hell’ and ‘damn’ and of course I’m an ardent consumer of many of their books and media which have provided hours of pleasant distraction for me over the years! To borrow a maxim from the many American visitors to our New Zealand podiums;