Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Political Chameleon

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spaniards are ignorant. Don't worry about what they think because it just doesn't matter. No one takes them seriously and neither should you.