So I have a few days left in the US of A. Three to be exact. I find myself in a weird place emotionally with the departure. On one end, I find myself reminiscing about college, and about the good times I had at Northwestern with my friends. I'm going to miss the late night heart to hearts, wasting time in the Library, spending way too much time in the Black House, the Foster, Noyes, and Davis El stops, and Sashimi Sashimi. I find myself looking at my old coats and thinking that I'll even miss the winters (gasp!). At this point, Ill have to adjust to being without the more, uh, shallow things in life, like Gossip Girl and America's next top model, and Sephora. I should live, right?
But watching this Republican Convention I realize that both Ghana and the US share one thing:
SUPER HEATED ELECTION SEASONS!
I dont know if any of you watched the speeches tonight. Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin both delivered speeches that went heavy on the attacks on Obama and his experience. Giuliani said, and this is not a direct quote: "Here we have a gifted man (Obama), Ivy league educated, and he goes into community organizing?!" * Laughs derisively* The audience also begins laughing.
Palin threw similar barbs concerning Obama's service in South Side Chicago.
This is probably the first time where I have been furious as a result of politics and inflammatory rhetoric. I took the words personally, to heart, as if someone had insulted me and what I believed in. If it was not for Fulbright, I would be a community organizer, with the Chicago Federation of Labor, a position was excited about! How DARE THEY! My stress response levels still havent come down. My cheeks were burning! What was going on?
To a certain extent, I understand why politics can cause so many problems in other parts of the world. After watching the speech, I was furious with the Republicans. I felt my mind morph into an Us/Vs them mentality. I couldn't help but think that these people were against everything I stood for, which is social justice, anti-war, and diversity. So I gathered my weapons and fought back. Meaning, Im blogging, AIMing, Facebooking. I'm voicing my discontent online. In other parts of the world, Ghana included, people resort to other means. Violent political rallies, jailings and assasinations can be the fallout from politics in other parts of the world. Usually we think that its underdeveloped, barbaric nations that resort to violence during heated political times.
But sitting here, listening to some of those speeches, I wished I could deliver my pink gloved left hook to some of those right wingers.
Politics, like religion, can stir up something deep within us. Both say something about the fundamental way we organize our lives, how we manage resources, how we manage our bodies, our property, and how we manage ourselves in relation to others and society. I regret that we in this country have succumbed to partisanship, the exact thing that George Washington feared when delivering his farewell speech. After the speeches today, I see that this election will be nasty. Whoever wins and is sworn in in January, there will be a lot of hurt feelings to assuage. It makes for great TV and media coverage, but I dont know if this is what is best for the country, such divisiveness.
Looks I have another angle to view the Ghana elections with.