I'm back from Germany where I've become known as Mike the Writer. It used to be that many people got their surnames from their father or the profession they pursued, as in Heinrich von Furstenberg or Jan Bauer (read that as farmer).
However, with the advent of Joe the Plumber, Europeans now use the more direct appellation, and since I am a long time card holder of the Writers Guild of America, I deferred to my German hosts when they asked if it was okay to call me Mike the Writer (though I'd always preferred Michael).
I watched the last presidential debate in the middle of the night and related my bleary-eyed thoughts to HuffPost readers. But later it occurred to me I ought to follow-up concerning the media-generated notion that it was damaging to a presidential campaign if foreign folks wanted their candidate to win.
Why would that be, I wondered? It's not as if these world citizens suddenly had the right to vote or could effect any direct muscle to convince my fellow Americans. We still have secret elections except in the case of absentee ballots, which can be filled in by anyone in the household. However, to my mind it's very significant so many foreign nationals, in particular from countries with which we have long been allies, find the current style of political leadership abhorrent and long for change across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
It is very important to sense the discord abroad concerning the bullying tactics exercised by those who direct our government. Not only related to the unnecessary and costly Iraq War, but also how our economic policies have had a domino effect decimating the finances of the world economy.
If there have been huge crowds for Barack Obama throughout his summer tour of Europe and scant indication of support for John McCain, why should this outrage us rather than inform us? It's not as if the Germans, French and English are totalitarian in outlook. They are as democratic as we are, and in the case of the French and Germans they have elected relatively conservative governments.
Still, the Europeans who elected them recognize a rotten apple and sense that John McCain, for all his purported maverick style, has sold out to appeal to those who didn't buy his more reform-oriented image when he tried for the presidency in 2000. These residents of the world community are frightened to death that a continuation of the George W. Bush policies will wreak havoc spiritually and economically and are not convinced that McCain and Palin will somehow provide a dissimilar approach to the GOP brand.
Whether it's the possibility of social and economic policies revamped by an almost certain right-wing majority on the Supreme Court or the presumption that the United States will continue to go its own way with little regard for its so-called allies, the people of our planet are wary. Make that quite a bit frightened at the prospect of more of the same which, John McCain represents. Indeed, any thought he might be a different kind of Republican, one imbued with loads of integrity he tries to convince us he has due to his long ago harrowing experience in a Prisoner of War camp, was washed away with his absurd selection of Sarah Palin to be next in line to lead our government.
So, take it from Mike the Writer, who spoke to lots of Germans in the two weeks I was there, not to mention a number of foreign nationals I met earlier this week while on the TKTS half-priced theater line in Times Square. There is a strong and legitimate reason why those in other countries have taken to heart the American polls as currently defined. They are crossing their fingers and saying prayers in myriad languages that the Gallup, CNN and New York Times readings are accurate.
Rather than think our foreign friends' hopeful anticipation is a bad sign, it should give us more incentive to restore the love and respect the world has long held for the United States. It should make us even more inclined to get out the vote for Obama. We're part of the world, aren't we and it's time we got back on track with our friends as true partners engaged in a terrific future for all of mankind.
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