Reflecting on election time it’s evident that, unlike the reserved and polite nature of British politics, people are shamelessly bias and extreme here. The campus pavements were scrawled with chalk. No longer did I walk on grey concrete to class, but had to tip toe over the red and blue screaming declarations of pro life and Christian values. The sheer volume of testimonies and lack of rain made the streets look like a carnival. You could turn on the radio and listen to a man tell you everything that was ever wrong with having a ‘Muslim’ and ‘immigrant’ run the country and how Romney is the next best thing since sliced bread. Like the metaphor itself, there’s little evidence to prove any of this true. But in an overwhelmingly Republican state, no one asked any questions.
There’s a shocking state of passivity brought on by a system which makes their own Presidential candidates into the stars of a reality TV show. They go on to join the celebrity culture and become participants in a sort of game show where the prize is America itself, along with all the people who refused to vote because neither candidate directly appealed to them. Despite the giant crater of ideological difference between the candidates, some people here seemed to be waiting for a President who would come and knock on their door with a pen and paper and tailor make a bullet point plan of exactly how they want their country run.
The scale of this election seemed sometimes to surpass the Republican South until on Wednesday morning the quad was filled with sore faces. The quickening understanding of the impact of this choice for America’s direction had sunk in.
It’s possibly because America has the tendency to make everything into entertainment and this election appeared so tight when, in reality, the outcome was much less of a close call.
It’s this that makes some voters stay in their armchairs with a root beer, watching a Presidential debate which is televised alongside a distracting twitter feed commenting on the comic choice of the candidates ties. Despite the ‘hard talk’ and ‘swing states’, the election is as much about television and media spinners as it is about Iran and energy independence. Nevertheless, four more years have now been decided and America is on the mend.
Words: Lucy Cheseldine