POSTCARD FROM THE DESERT KINGDOM OF DUBAI
election'08: the race to clean the place
By Gabriel de Andrade
Special to the LFR
Watching the run up to this election from Dubai has been both fascinating and entertaining. What I cant get over is how scared Americans seem to be of change. The fact that words such as socialism, which are perfectly normal to use in most of the free world, has some Americans scrambling for cover is quite amusing.
I can't understand is the most powerful country in the world has no problem spending billions of taxpayers money fighting useless wars in distant shores but has a problem with providing its taxpayers with health care. Watching too much Fox News has not helped. I have not come across such a bunch of righteous and ignorant commentators in my life before. I hope that this is only the view of a few and that Americans know better.
A readers poll in today's Gulf News that asks "who would you vote for to be the new US president?" has Barack Obama leading John McCain, 63 to 11. Intrestingly enough, 17 percent of those polled stated none of the above .This is interesting as it indicates to me a general mistrust of any U.S. leadership, however, the general consensus on the Middle Eastern street is anybody but George W. Bush.
Don't get me wrong. I for one and most people out here love the U.S. and its people. But Bush's actions over the last eight years has left a perception his administration had a personal and imperialist agenda. We hope that after today's vote all that will change.
That Obama is the clear favorite out here is no surprise. A vote for McCain is perceived as a vote for the status quo. Obama is seen as a young, dynamic advocate for change who will deal with the rest of the world in an unbiased and evenhanded manner.
Believe me, if he gets that right in the Middle East the US will have millions of new friends and will do a lot better in winning hearts and minds than sending troops into villages with candy. I have no doubt that if he wins today he will have is work cut out for him. To rectify the political and financial mess is going to require a massive effort and the support of all who live in the USA.
Although the polls say otherwise there is still doubt out here as to whether the people of the USA will have the courage to elect a leader of color. I sincerely hope that they will show intent and show the rest of the rest of the world how free thinking America really is. I have faith in the American people to do the right thing and hope that America has the courage to do the right thing and put Obama in office.
Gabriel de Andrade is a South African national living in Dubai. Unfortunately, he is also a fan of the Liverpool football club in the English Premier League.