Monday, November 10, 2008


(Taiwanese Newspaper about a little election we had back in the states)

Well I feel like a pretty shitty Political Science major. Here it's been almost a week and I haven't mentioned the election or Obama yet. I guess lately I've been more focused on my English degree. But the election was all over the news here, some of my adult students wanted to talk about it. Obviously I'm really happy with the outcome. I'm very proud of America, proud that my countrymen saw through the rhetoric, through the viciousness and condescending Republican campaign. It's a good indicator of where the country wants to go after 8 years of repeated failed policies that made us a laughing stock amongst most nations. Americans, especially younger people have made it clear that the Bush doctrine is not the direction we want this country to go in. I give the American voters credit for showing some genuine intellegence and sound judgment after 8 years of poor political decisions. It truly is inspiring stuff. I read an article in the Times where they interviewed junior High schoolers in Bed Stuy and some of their responses brought tears to my eyes. It's truly remarkable that an entire generation of young people will grow up knowing that anyone, can grow up to do great things and inspire those around them. They interviewed one kid and he said he hoped to be the first Latino president now. Remarkable. When I found out Obama won I was actually teary-eyed. I wish I was back in the states to really share that historic day with all my family and friends.
On a personal level, I felt that this restored my hope in the political process. Bush I; the first president I was cognizant of... had his Persian Gulf war, Clinton, wasn't inspiring but more of a sideshow. And then Bush trampled on whatever hope I had for the country by routinely destroying Americans' rights, reputation abroad and dismantling any credibility we may have built up after the end of the Cold War. Obama gives me hope (Iknow that word is used ad nauseaum but still) in the future of this country, and hope that my children won't be embroiled in a long war, or maybe just maybe they can have some semblance of adequate health care like the rest of the industrialized world. It's fantastic reading reactions from other people abroad. Most see this as a new step. Hopefully (there's that word again) this will reduce the animosity of other governments, and especially reduce it among non-government actors. It really has inspired me...I've been struggling as of late in terms of a career, and I know I need to do something that has a positive impact on some segment of society, if I do a job that doesn't help the less fortunate, I fell like I'd be wasting my talents. Seeing Obama inspire so many people makes me believe that I can make a difference, somehow and someway in the lives of people who are not as privileged as I am. And trying to figure out the best way to use my skills to achieve this is what I'm currently grappling with. The world needs hope, it needs inspiration and last week we found it. Let's just hope that unlike most other politicians, Obama follows through on his promises of hope and change because to be frank, I can't stomach another letdown in the political sphere. I think he will keep those campaign least I hope so....

The reaction in Taiwan has been mostly positive. My students and other Taiwanese friends have all spoken fondly of Obama. There were a few who believed that McCain would be a better choice simply because he would be more assertive and stand up to China in regards to Taiwan; but most saw Obama as everything Bush was not. I was really taken aback when I heard one of my students and another Taiwanese friend of mine suggest that McCain's campaign may try to "take out" Obama...there was the assumption here, I guess because the former president of Taiwan was so corrupt, that something like that would happen. I really was angry at the idea of was insulting. Anyway the reaction in Taiwan has been great. I was able to buy a Taiwanese newspaper with Obama on the cover. I think I will hold on to that; to show my grandkids one day about this historic, inspiring and hopeful day.

In other big news, last night was the first night since I got to Taiwan that I didn't need to use my A/C!!! YES! It's only mid November and it's already snowing in NY, but it's still been hot here until today. It's funny how all the Taiwanese people have on there like winter coats, scarves, and NorthFace down jackets now. It's probably 65 degrees. I was walking around in a long sleeve button up shirt, and was still sweating. But I saw this girl wearing a down jacket, scarf and UGG boots and she still looked cold......... To each his own I guess...

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