This is a non-partisan shout-out to all my American friends, posted in General Discussion.
Here in Europe, we are watching the astonishing footage of Americans lining up around the block to demand their democratic voice, something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. After decades of ridiculously low turnouts, it seems that Americans have finally woken up to where their money is going and what is being done in their name.
The world is extremely fond of America, American culture, American innovation and, after 9/11, there was a huge wave of solidarity with the American people. Sadly, the last 7 years have been very dark and it is now clear that the West has blown it's dominance, handing massive financial power to the rising East and oil-producing countries, including Venezuela and Iran. Whoever wins tonight, the next few years will be tougher - the American consumer will never again be subsidized by the dollar being the world's default reserve currency and that has repercussions for all of us who do business with Americans. The same thing happened to the UK after WWII, a noble war whose debts were only finally paid off last year, bankrupted the Empire and handed the baton to America. Now, depending on how soon they decide to call in their debt, it's China's turn.
And, yet, the bright, shining fact is that, finally, Americans are getting out there and voting. It can't be fun to stand in line for hours while ridiculous polling machines malfunction but, whether you support Obama or McCain, please do make the effort - it means so much to the entire world and we are all so proud that Americans are, now, so determined to be heard and to stand against the scams and tricks that swung previous elections. That simple cultural change is so electrifying, so heartening, so inspiring. Go vote.