the longer i live outside the country of my birth, the less american i get. it stands to reason. we are most affected by the environment in which we find ourselves. for me, this means that i have become more egalitarian (what? a differentiation in the car taxes by area (200% instead of 150%) to help with traffic congestion in cities? no way, car taxes must be the same for all), i have better taste, i am less likely to talk to strangers or say "excuse me," and i think that famous people should be allowed to get on with living their lives unmolested (winona, you did NOT just take a hit on that 17 when the dealer has a 6 up).
generally, i trust the integrity of the media where i live, find the healthcare system to be modern and accessible (even if they're not the most service-minded folks ever), and while politicians are a bit idealess, they're generally not corrupt (i mean, what's a little fudging your taxes among friends). all of this contributes to my today having generally logically-reasoned, balanced, non-conspiracy theoretical opinions about the events of the world. and for that i
so it's quite interesting to encounter someone who makes wild leaps of reason in the course of an otherwise quite normal and reasonable discussion. for example, that michelle obama hates america. this reasoned from a comment that she made about having never been more proud of america before whatever day she made the speech. conclusion: since she'd never been proud of america before, she must hate it. really? i don't know the context of her comment (and neither did the person making the conclusion), but it seems pretty innocuous to me. and context would seem to be completely necessary to drawing any untoward conclusions. but my impression of clips i see of current american media is that context is irrelevant. and the person making this statement (possibly parroted from something former miss america (obviously makes her an authority on the level of affection for america) gretchen carlson said on fox "news") didn't question that at all. he had just ingested and then passed along the venom.
i really don't understand the venom towards obama. while i grant that he has not lived up to the promise and hope i felt in november 2008 as i bought a huge ring to commemorate his election and for the first time in 8 years didn't conceal my passport in line as i went through passport control, he has done what he can. i simply can't fathom why, when millions and millions have no health insurance anyone would be against obamacare. i'm still reeling a little a bit from a bloggy friend who asked me if it wasn't just horrible for the poor insurance companies? really? you can't be serious.
it strikes me that people's memories are short - does no one recall the mess he was handed by bush, an illegitimate president, bent only on being elected to get the approval of his father? when bush took office, there was a budget surplus. after two wars that have accomplished little as far as i can see there is now billions in crippling deficits. bush's cronies dismantled the last of the regulation keeping the financial sector in check and i think it's quite obvious to everyone that's been a disaster of global proportions. these are the things that obama was handed to deal with. and no mere mortal could solve these problems overnight.
it's problematic in general that the people who might be the very best for a job like president of the united states or even prime minister of denmark aren't the ones running. it's problematic that we seldom have access to the real person behind the power - they are so spun and fluffed and polished that i don't think we have any idea who they really are and what they stand for, other than remaining in power. but, we've got to keep cool heads and draw logical conclusions and then vote accordingly. michelle obama doesn't hate america. to say so is ludicrous. and makes me a little bit more inclined to start hiding my passport again when i'm in line for passport control.