The World is Watching

As Americans were watching the second debate between John McCain and Barack Obama, so was the rest of the world. At a highway rest stop between Verona and Florence, a couple men from another tour approached us. °Americans, correct? Where are you from?" We told them we were from Kansas. "Would we offend you if we then said you were John McCain people?!" Turns out, the two men were from Holland and they knew enough about U.S. politics to know Kansas was a traditionally Republican state. I asked if they were following our U.S. Presidential race and they told me, °Oh, yes. Very much.° I asked them why they were so interested, and they explained that the struggling American economy was bound to reach Europe - in fact, they said it already had. In addition, they were concerned about the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also said their greatest fear is that it will be a situation where the election is so close, one man will win the electoral college, while the other will win the popular vote - making for a President without great support. These two men aren't unique. I had asked our Italian guide, Gemmj, if she and her friends were following the American political scene. She said they were because what happens in the U.S. can impact Europe so much. I asked what it impacts, and, without talking specific political positions, she did say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were becoming increasingly unpopular.  It's interesting to hear such perspectives. As the rest of the campaign winds down, I have a new appreciation for how it's impact will be felt around the world.

 

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