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Us travelers know the reactions when we say the place we are from. For Americans, there was a long stretch when the 2nd President Bush would be mentioned and the conversation would take an awkward turn. When Obama was elected there was a year or so when people the world over would exclaim, “Obama!” at the surprise that an African-American became president. Lately the reactions have been more diffuse and mostly gone back to Hollywood or relatives a person has in the US.
I passed through a Moroccan highway toll booth today and the talkative attendant had good English to my poor French and didn’t mind holding up the cars behind for a little chat.
After we sorted out the toll price, he started with some rhetorical questions in exaggerated tones.
“Américain?” with a broad smile.
“Who will you vote for, Cccllllinton or Trump?”
“Trump is a raccccissst…Whhhyyyyy?”
I had no answer. I still believe in governance, believe in public service. Maybe due to school and then living abroad I missed the radio talk show brainwashing that has convinced so many Americans that we have it so bad, when much of the world marvels at the luxury that we can afford to approach our election as a joke and the country still will probably do ok.
Whatever it is, the world is watching and a new era of impressions of America is taking shape. More tomorrow on how Morocco was one of the first great friends of the fledgling United States.
I leave you will this hilarious commentary PJ O’Rourke did for the BBC after the New Hampshire Primaries. Don’t worry, he skewers every candidate. Last year the BBC had him give his take as on outsider on the UK elections. At least in the UK they can only campaign for a month and they have to get back to governing.