Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Election From The German Perspective

I did not sleep well during the night of the elections; being in Germany I knew I wouldn’t find out the results until the next morning. I was keeping mum during the election season, since we are not living in the United States of America any more and thus the outcome of the election would not affect us directly. To be honest, I expected Romney to win after a not-so-clean voting process; honestly, what can you expect if the company that manufactures the voting machines supports one candidate with a large sum? Learning on the morning of the 6th that Obama had actually was re-elected, and by such a large number of electoral votes (by a smaller margin he has also won the popular vote), I was very relieved.
Since you surely know all the pre-election polls from the US, I would like to share a poll conducted among Germans, who they would vote for. While in the US the polls suggested a 50-50 result, which was quite accurate since Obama won by “only” 2 million of the popular votes, the results in Germany would have been much different. The first poll (pre-Sandy) had Obama by 86%, Romney by 5% with 9% being undecided. Two weeks later, Obama won over many of the undecided and even some of the German Romney-supporters, receiving a result of 92%, while 4% would have given their vote to Romney and 4% remained undecided. At the same time, several German artists and business owners, who live in the US, were interviewed for their opinion on the elections; all of them sided with Obama, even though some of them were affected by increased cost of business due to Obama-care and higher taxes and would have profited by the changes Romney promised.
Why is it, that Romney can sway an entire country and come darn close to be elected president while one continent over, he would not even stand the slightest chance? The magazines I read here in Germany covered the US campaigns of both men, with an emphasis on the man Romney; unfortunately, most of the reports did not portray a very nice man. As chairman of his company he was responsible for thousands of people losing their jobs, which were moved to lower-wage countries. During the campaign he promised to create millions of jobs. Once, during a speech at a university he praises stem cell research in progress in treating certain diseases, later he bashes stem cell research as not producing any results and being immoral. Once, he is pro-choice regarding the issue of abortion, later he is pro-life. He chooses a running mate, who is so far to the political and social right that it seriously scares me.
Being influenced by different media during the entire campaign, I would like to know, what makes a person voting for Romney, who labels the supporters of his opponent (and president) a burden to society? I am quite sure that some of my readers supported Romney, and do not want to offend or bash any of you, since everyone has the right to his or her own opinion. However, I would like to understand the man who received about 49% of the popular vote two days ago. I appreciate all opinions and posts!
Ps: I am hoping for more bi-partisanship during the next four years and beyond. The last four years were ridiculous and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves! When have those politicians forgotten that their purpose is to serve all the people, not just themselves and their rich cronies?

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