My husband is among those many unaffiliated voters whose allegiance we McCain and Obama supporters have been vigilantly seeking after these many months. Yet even my husband was aghast when he first entertained several minutes of CNN’s news delivery in Germany this past week. During our trip overseas, we were subjected to our usual overdose of CNN, the only English-speaking news network we are ever able to locate on television outside the United States. As we attempted to remain up to speed with the news of the day while away from home we were equally appalled by the egregious number of endorsements for Senator Obama throughout the network’s news delivery. Indeed, I found it difficult to refer to their segments as “news,” at all.
During one conversation with a well-educated young German man, I was asked who I planned to vote for in the U.S. Presidential Election. My reply was simply, “John McCain.” His eyes lifted and his swung back with surprise. He had clearly anticipated my answer to be otherwise. I countered the question, asking who he would vote for were he an American Citizen. He invariably replied, “Barack Obama.” I asked what it was about Senator Obama he liked. He explained that it seemed reasonable to support Barack Obama as the news seemed to consider him a better fit. The following addition to his reasoning was, for me, so traumatic that I could almost hear the screeching of car wheels in my head. He added that after watching the American Video Music Awards it appeared as though most Americans preferred the Senator from Illinois. After I regained my composure I first addressed the matter of Brittany Spears having anything whatsoever to do with sound political decision making. I explained, with all of the passion that I could muster, how precious little our American counterparts in Hollywood represented the average American. In order to save you, the reader, from an overemphasis on the stupidity of famous people, something I am sure you already know, I will spare you the details of this portion of the conversation. I followed my response to the VMA’s with some discussion about the media’s role in the election. As we discussed the matter, I explained to him how very little the Europeans have been receiving in the way of balanced press coverage of the two candidates. He appeared to appreciate the point though I am not entirely certain he believed it.
To be clear, I am not concerned about whether or not my German friend would vote for John McCain in a presidential election. He is, after all, no more American than I am German but it did explain much with regard to the favor Senator Obama has been receiving abroad. Indeed, a soviet style dictator still rules over the small country of Belarus. Alexandr Lukashenka has moved his country backward in time, in his tireless crusade for the Communism of old. The people are oppressed and information regarding the outside is attacked more aggressively with each passing day. Yet many Belarusians consider Lukashenko a good leader by virtue of the manner in which the Belarusian, far from free, media extol him on a daily basis. Certainly, Western Europeans have far greater access to external information as compared to their Belarusian counterparts but it must be understand by Americans here at home, that the European media is not free and the delivery of news is not balanced. It is wrought with opinion and littered with bias. With foreign enemies who seek to influence our elections and foreign friends whose information is tainted, we must guard ourselves against concern for the world’s opinion about our presidential selection.
We are bound with the responsibility to make decisions in America’s best interest and her best interest alone. And when it is all said and done, given their track record, I am not entirely certain we should be taking our advice from Europe anyway.