Today is Election Day in America. Americans are just waking up on this important day; while, for many of us in various countries around the world, this day is half way over.
Most American expats have already voted. Pretty much the only way we can vote is by absentee ballot. We represent a small voter group. No candidate has tried to court us. We have missed all of the candidates’ commercials, lawn signs, bumper stickers and banners. Yesterday, I answered a call on our U.S. phone that was a recording of a famous politician endorsing my state’s governor. That’s it. That’s all we’ve gotten. I would say that we feel left out, but we don’t. We prefer it this way.
America, the rest of the world is watching our election very closely. The rest of the world cares who we elect as president. They have a vested interest in this race. The President of the United States is important to them. They know that they will be impacted by this race.
Honestly, I didn’t know who the president of South Africa was when I moved here 15 months ago. In case you’re wondering, it’s Jacob Zuma. For the vast majority of Americans, it doesn’t matter who the President of South Africa is. But for the rest of the world, it matters who the President of the United States is.
Everyday citizens and companies have joined in the U.S. election fray. Just look at this picture that Jason took last week in a popular burger joint in Pretoria:
Sadly America, the rest of the world thinks we’re nuts. They think we have lost our minds. And I for one am tired of apologizing for our behavior. I’ll be glad when this day is over and we can talk about something else.
Americans living in South Africa won’t know who our next president is until tomorrow morning. The election should be called about the time we wake up. I pray that we get this right America. And the rest of the world is praying that we get it right too.