Because It Matters
Like most Italians that lived through the war my Italian grandmother was a big fan of the United States:
“They brought peace to Europe. You can’t beat that.”
She told me to visit New York before 1999. “In 1999 the city is going to drown into the sea,” she said, “go there for me—before it’s too late.” And so I did in 1997, and it made her very happy. I ended up staying in New York for quite some time. Since then I have been addicted to New York and to American politics.
One of my grandmother’s favorite stories was how she managed to acquire a TV in Varazze just in time to see the miraculous moon landing. When Neil Armstrong said his famous words, cicadas were chirping in the hot Italian summer night.
That was two years before I was born, and from the beginning she was very supportive of my early plans to become an astronaut. “I am sure the Americans would accept a talented Swiss astronaut on board”, she told me.
“A Nasty Business”
And then the presidents—Nonna Giovanna more or less loved them all:
- Of course “Ghenneddi!—Un uomo bello” (A beautiful man)
- “Garter—molto sympatico” (Carter—very sympathetic)
- “Reggen—lavora bene” (Reagan—he’s doing a good job)
- “Bushe—mi piace” (Bush—I like him)
- “Glinnton?”—”He is not honest but that’s politics,” she said. “A nasty business.” The Lewinsky scandal? No big deal: “I prefer Kennedy’s taste in women.”
A No Good Out of Control
And then Bush II came and she—a big fan of the United States since the end of the second World War—changed her mind about her favorite country. Bush II? Not a president, “un strappastraccie fuoribondo,” a “no-good out of control.” With limiting hearing only on one ear, my grandmother was a true master at interpreting body language:
“Just look at him. This fake smile. The eyes that go right and left when he speaks. Frowning like the biggest big liar I have ever seen. A greedy selfish scoundrel. Get out of my sight. How much times have changed since they shot Kennedy!”
And that lead to another one of her favorite stories. The day when Kennedy died. But let the old stories be old stories and look at what we have now.
Why Am I Telling You This?
I wanted to express what most people outside the United States feel. We have the pride of deep history, which you don’t have (300 years is not a lot of history). And here is our thing: We want to be able to look up to the United States like a father wants to look up to a successful son.
It matters whom you elect as president. And it matters now more than ever. Whether some religious freak in some Pakistani cave likes it or not, whether the Chinese agree or not, weather Russia comes back or not, weather Europeans hate or love/hate it: the President of the United States of America is, to a certain degree, the President of the United States of the free world.
- For the last eight years the world had to deal with one fucking dumb-ass cowboy
- Before that, it was eight years of some dubious Mr. Pink
- Before that egghead, not as bad as that, but still an egghead
- Before that, a cowboy actor
Whom Should you Elect this Time?
I can’t tell you whom to vote for. After all it is your president. And thus you will get the president you deserve. It’s up to you. Really. But let me frame it for you, so you can see your choice through the eyes of a dedicated America-friendly foreigner. This is your choice:
- A rich, wishy-washy
- A dangerously old dude
- Clinton II
- The future
Whom Does the World Need Here?
- We need someone that makes us forget the Bush and Clinton years
- Someone that cares for more than himself and his friends
- We need someone trustworthy and inspiring
- Someone reflective not calculating
- Not right, not left, not ideological—intelligent and articulate that’s what we need
- Not black or white, or man or woman, short or tall, fat or thin—but human
Those who can, please don’t miss the opportunity to vote on Super Tuesday. Because, this time, it does not only matter. It could make a difference.Ð