Sitting overseas watching the US election process leaves me truly baffled. How is this a close election? How is Obama and the Democratic party not poised to take both houses and the White House?
I work with a few Americans who as a group went to vote today. Most are Democrats, but a few are admittedly Republicans. That said, I could not find any who claimed that they would vote for Romney this year.
Maybe they were lying. Or just embarrassed.
The feeling I get from most Republicans who I have encountered around the world during the last 8 years is that they no longer feel they have a party that has anything to do with their values or beliefs.
Outside the borders of the US, Americans (and non-Americans) look to the GOP and see a backward, unhinged, frightening, uneducated, corrupt group of nitwits who would probably not survive in any democratic political system outside of the US. Or sure, there are a few GOPers who buck the trend, but even they appear to bend over to serve the fringe when addressing a domestic audience.
The facts of current situation are pretty clear. Eight year of GOP policies ending in total collapse and and response by the the Democratic party which has managed to turn things around despite every effort of the GOP to stop them. Of top of that the man running for the GOP has dismissed half the nation, made dramatic switches on almost every key issue, exploited an international death for political gain, has a business history of destroying American jobs, is hiding his tax history and is running on a platform to return to the same policies that caused the collapse in the first place.
If Romney were to run the nation the way he ran his business (as some GOP supporters seem to think would be a good idea) he would fire every American, break up the nation, sell off every unprofitable State and pocket a huge commission.
This is all obvious to me, and everyone else I talk to. The GOP is a joke. Romney is a joke.
But he is even in the polls, will win many States and could even become the next POTUS. I don't get it. I really don't understand.
Are Americans really this ignorant? Has the US democratic system really broken down this thoroughly? Is it the US education system that has failed? Do people just not care? Is the future just crazier and crazier fringe elements constantly pushing everything further and further right while the nation crumbles around them?
From the outside the US is looking like an awfully scary place right now.
I hope there is some light at the end of this tunnel. The US could do so much for itself. It could be an inspiration for the world. It used to be that.