Sunday, March 10, 2013

#2 A Very Different Politics

I was pretty shocked the first several weeks I was in America. FYI, the time I came to America was when they had their presidential election (and all of the campaigns as well). At that time, the candidates from GOP (Republican) was Mitt Romney, a successful businessman who was currently a Governor in Massachusetts, and from the Democrats, Barack Obama, the first African-American president who was trying to run for a second term

The first time I saw the campaign, I was confused. The whole campaign was talking about Barack Obama, but then in the end of the campaign, it stated "Vote for Romney". The same thing applies to Barack Obama's ads. I bluntly asked my host dad why on earth both candidates are showing the other candidate's picture but then said vote for them.

And it turned out that almost all of the political campaigns was about booming the other candidate's negative points, mudsling as they called it. I was pretty shocked the first time I knew about it because that was really uncommon. In Indonesia, since the candidates were plenty (we have more political parties than in America), most of the candidates are busy to sell their pretty lies to the public, busy creating good image for the future president. But in America, the competition was so tough and so limited that they don't even care about good images anymore. It's about who's the worst.

Well, at some point, not bragging about lies is probably a good thing. The public wasn't deceived with their good sheep wool that they put on their wolf thick skin. But for me, that was pitiful enough to see that people can publicly attack another people.

Probably that's the reason why our culture is so different with America. We, Indonesians, are raised in such culture where politeness and gratitude are held high, respecting people comes first, and so on. We are growing up to be people who don't like to attack other people from the front, but most likely from the back or slowly from the front. We are raised to be patient, I guess.

America, on the other hand, is a country where free speech is supported, and most of the people in it are free to say anything they want, so easy that they can easily sue people whenever they want to for a simple matter. You know who your enemies are and you can freely attack them without any hesitation of the result. Americans are raised to be combatants, I guess.

But again, I cannot say that either one of them are better than the other. Or either one of them are worse than the other. That's just how both cultures diverse so much that you can even see the difference from the political perspective, which I thought won't be so much different. Well, I guess I'm wrong.

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