I walked into a local London thrift store, and saw Obama’s Audacity of Hope laying in a shelf. I jokingly said, “I should probably read this being he’s our President and all.”
The cashier then says to me, “If you’re interested, we have Tony Blair’s book as well!”
Even though I had a feeling I would regret my question I asked anyway.
“Umm, who is Tony Blair?”
The cashier says to me, “Our previous Prime Minister.”
Well here lies the problem.
I’ve had longer conversations regarding America’s current election and economic state with British people than I have had with any of my fellow American classmates.
Every time one of these conversations arise, I am never expecting it.
The first time was with a club bouncer. After seeing my ID he said, “ I would go with Romney. He’s a great business man, so he’d definitely be able to run the country. Obama’s old news, man!”
I was really surprised to see the average Brit know more about our politics than the names of the people running. It’s not uncommon for the average American to solely be concerned with the party of the candidates running.
But this past weekend I got to see the extent of America’s influence when I joined a group of 20 British students on a retreat to discuss Religion, Politics, and Government.
They said they knew more about American Politics than their own, and that they wish they could vote in our election.
I can’t think of one American that knows the politics of another country better than our own. I would even be surprised to come across a person who had basic knowledge of the Israeli elections that are going on now. Despite the fact that Israel is an important part of our foreign policy.
With American elections slowly coming to a close, it is important to realize how lucky we are to have our voices heard not only for our choice of President, but the propositions within our own state.
Too often we underestimate the power a ballot holds. I’ve heard too many people say that they are not voting because all they have is a choice between two evils. People around the world are looking at the US elections with great enthusiasm and passion.
As Americans reaping the benefits of living in a country as great as ours, we should all take the time to vote. Because the reality is, none of the candidates are evil. They both have a plan to help this country, and are taking the time to promote these plans. As American citizens we should be taking the small amount of time it takes to cast a ballot and have our voices be heard, while putting this action in perspective. People around the world can see the importance and impact of our elections. Why can’t we?