Politics. It’s amazing how much it defines everything, now more than ever. It really seems to all boil down to “Left versus Right”, everything is reduced to this. I know that being American (and not being ashamed of it) is very unpopular in Europe. Why? Well, that’s complicated, and I will try to go into that sometime, but one reason is that Europeans assume Americans are “right -leaning” politically, and Europeans of course are not. “Right-leaning” is very unpopular (although I’m not sure they really understand why this is other than some vague “fight the man” feeling). “Pro-American” is also not PC, and uncool.
What is funny is that when I first came to Spain in 1982, I was a very left-leaning individual. I used to have many a discussion during the Reagan years of how I agreed with everything all the Spanish people said about our militaristic and simpleton actor/leader. Back then, my sister was even a bona fide member of the American Communist party (I always got big points for that).
But over the years I changed - due directly to spending time in Spain. I heard so much bullshit about the Jews in control of everything, about how even World War II was a selfish act on our part (my father and his three bothers served), about NATO being a huge war-mongering institution (until even Felipe Gonzalez joined up), about the U.S. being behind anything and everything bad in the world, about the U.S. being cowards for waging an air-battle with no ground forces in Bosnia to stop a war against Muslims, then for being too aggressive in Afghanistan and Iraq with troops on the ground, etc. There was a lot more crap, too much to mention.
Another thing that strikes me odd is that to my friends who are politically conservative, I am considered a Commie-Pinko. But to my friends and family who are very left-leaning, they would swear that I am a Bush-voting Republican (I’m a registered Democrat by the way). The sad truth is I have never voted for a presidential candidate who actually won. Since, 1980 I have consistently cast a losing vote. Nice record!
So my political sentiments are in flux - depending on what country I am in. I know that I will not apologize anymore for being an American, Fuck ‘em! I know that my opinions on the other Spain related blogs I enjoy are viewed as suspect, as “outside the normal anti-U.S. viewpoint”. But I think I’ve earned my worldview. I have been the American in Spain since 1982! I have heard the same B.S. spewed over and over and I guess it has turned me into a conservative - when I am in Madrid! But in the states, in my natural habitat, I'm still half a Pinko.