Turns out or resident English guy, Gavin Cleaver, who drenches himself in barbecue sauce and smoke for us over on City of Ate, is actually like a doctor. In politics. University trained and the author of a forthcoming book on political ethics. We did not know that ... both that he was a Ph.D. or that there is such thing as "political ethics." Anyway, he not only likes 'Merica's smoked slabs of beef, he likes our elections too. There's gotta be a connection there. (If you want to read more of his political stuff, check this out.
|Photos by Eric Gruneisen and Brandon Marshall, courtesy of Denver Westword.|
That's right America. I can't even vote in your country. I hail from a land where we're still upset that you wasted all that perfectly good tea, where American elections dominate the media the same way they do here, where when elections are tied we muddle through it and create a Franken-party out of many different opposing parties because A) we recognize there are more than two options on the political spectrum and B) we don't like courts as much as you guys. A place where politics is frankly so boring that nobody cares about it. This is the land in which I completed my eight years studying politics at college, and now I am briefly going to talk to you about how the rest of the world feels.
When was the last time you heard about European elections? Exactly. Why are American elections such big news around the world? Two reasons. First, if any country is going to stick a pin in a map and then invade that country, it's America. Your military budget is larger than those of China, Russia, the UK, France and Japan put together. Frankly, we're all terrified (except Putin. Putin doesn't scare). I can see how that policy is working for you.More »
Second, American election season is political fireworks popping left, right, and center (the pun there is intended). There's nothing outside the U.S. that can compare. It's such theater, such drama, and it is so ridiculous that I can't look away. It's like the Honey Boo-Boo of elections, if you will. Some elections have almost toxic levels of comedy gold (Mugabe's re-election campaign in Zimbabwe, with his killer slogan "Vote For The Fist" and a greater than 100 percent voter turnout), some elections are a complete farce (Belgium recently snatching the record for "Most Time Without Actual Government" from that center of democracy, Cambodia), but your election is like a car-crash of extremism, patriotism, abstract nouns and empty rhetoric.