For the second presidential election in a row, I am living abroad. Last time I was up all night in France watching coverage and awaiting the results. This year I have been much more casual. (This is mostly due to the fact that The Colbert Report isn’t available free online outside the U.S. this time around, and paying attention isn’t as fun anymore.) At about 1pm today, friends started messaging me and people were coming up to me at work (total strangers mostly) and fist-pumping with phrases like “four more years!” and “OBAMA!” I didn’t know so many people were aware of my Americanness. Usually people assume I’m Canadian “to be polite.”
I’m not writing this post to share my opinions about the election. My main reason for saying anything at all is that I want to share the love that Australians have for America today. Between gay marriage being legalized in Maine and Maryland, and an internationally respected politician being reelected, it seems people around my new country are celebrating. (P.S. I am so proud of the wins for gay rights today! Go America!)
My Facebook is full of celebratory statuses from my Aussie mates. It’s pretty cool that people get so into the politics of another country. At home the country is divided 50/50, so it’s amazing to see people of all ages and backgrounds here on the same page. I have to say that foreigners often have a harsh opinion of America and Americans, but I find that since Obama has been president (or more accurately since Bush STOPPED being president) people abroad have a greater respect for our great nation. I know it’s not the only thing that matters, but it makes being an American abroad a little bit easier.
Here are some statuses from Aussies for your entertainment:
“four more years.”
“Maryland approves same sex marriage, Colorado legalises marijuana, and OBAMA has another 4 years!”
“So nice of Obama to speak about me in his acceptance speech. Love you too Baracky.” (from another Michelle)
“To see the look on Bill O’Reilly’s hateful, squinty face. Go Obama!”
“God bless America and god bless Obama!! I love this kind hearted soul!!! U def had my vote best public speaker everrrrr!!”
“Phew! The world dodged a bullet”
Much like in my country, people in Australia are split about 50/50 in political affiliation. Makes it that much cooler that everyone who has commented or approached me today has been really positive. They love Barack over here. My French students did as well. While in the US it’s a bit rude to ask “who did you vote for?” everyone both during this election and the last one was dying to know. It’s like they wish they could vote for my president as well and want to live vicariously.
But I digress. Mostly I just wanted to say it feels amazing to be a citizen of the world today, because that is what I have become in the last 4 years. I love my life’s journey and wouldn’t change it for anything.