Even my students are in on all the excitement and anticipation of tonight’s US Presidential election results. Many Japanese citizens who I’ve talked to despised their former Prime Minister Noda who faced numerous critiques over the handling of a US military base in Okinawa as well as the handling of nuclear plants after the March 11 earthquake for someone similar to an Obama-like leader. A few of my Japanese friends have even gone as far to say their love for Obama’s charisma and drive makes them love our American president more so than Noda himself!
As for me, this year was my first time filling out an international absentee ballot. the process for an absentee American civilian was very simple. I sent a request for an Absentee Ballot Request form to my county’s election board office. Got an email attachment of the form. In turn I printed the forms filled out the necessary information and returned them via email. A few days later my absentee ballot was in the mail and my party’s recommendation letter came the following day. Again my ballot was scanned and emailed.
The only difficult thing was finding a scanner big enough to scan the ballot. However, they don’t call a Japanese convenient store convenient for nothing. There was a scanner that doubled as a copier, printer, and fax machine. My difficulty was a minor one compared to other Americans living abroad who also wanted to vote. Many of these citizens had been voting for years and SUDDENLY face issues with requesting ballot request forms or mailing addresses. After reading some of the heinous articles about wrongly calibrated voting machines, confusing polling information, poll volunteers asking for ID, hypocritical new outlets **cough** Fox News **cough cough** protecting one watch dog group while condemning another essentially doing the same thing, it’s deplorable.
I’m very curious as to how these perpetrators thought they were going to get away with some of these acts but under the same breath they kind of are. Media awareness used to be a very powerful weapon. Mass audiences would learn the truth consequences are issued. I’ve been following this election very closely and found phrases such as ‘walking back,’ ‘doubling down,’ ‘taken out of context,’ ‘liberal media,’ ‘cover up’ etc. are used to side step the punishment for biased journalism, or writing off 47% of an entire country, or withholding information about an attack against an embassy.
I’m not a Republican but I have always admired about subtly aggressive conservative leaders. Unlike the liberal approach of promoting the truth and transparency, conservative leaders used a subtle approach to combat issues unsupported by their platform and promote issues true to their own values. The Voter ID push is the most relevant and polarizing example of the subtle aggression. Hindering the poor and youth voters who spoke so loudly in 2008. Event he Citizens United case that has opened a deluge of conservative intimidation via super PAC political spots and CEOs scaring their employees into voting for Romney. One thing I have to question, is this high tenacity to win against those who differ in party, those who differ in race or social economic status?
What ever the answer and what ever outcome of tonight will be, the Democratic party and it’s liberal supporters need a more aggressive game changer to combat the many inaccuracies and unfairness that exists across the aisle AS WELL as in their own seats.
And with that, I wait patently.
UPDATE: I found this hilarious and hopefully useful to some: http://yourfuckingpollingplace.com/