A pretty limited number of people make it to this page, but a sounding board is a sounding board, and should be used when the situation is this important.

Those of you who are in the States, please get to the polls tomorrow and place your vote.

Your choice isn’t my business, but I’ll be open about what mine was on the absentee ballot: Kerry. I’m not registered with either party, but when you live outside of the States, the effects of four Bush-years become painfully clear.

As is well known, America has lost an incredible amount of respect throughout the world. Even here, in Eastern Europe, where support is higher than elsewhere in Europe, Americans are still viewed with a measure of contempt. The “War of Terror”—which is really the central issue of tomorrow’s vote for most of the population—has been carried out so poorly that when you stand outside the borders its clumsiness cannot be ignored.

I confess that when it began, I was not against the Iraq War. I, like most of us, believed the “weapons of mass destruction” argument. It proved wrong, proved all of us wrong, but unlike Kerry, Bush is unable to admit that a mistake was made. And as a result, Bush is seen throughout the world as a zealot, with a fundamentalist “brave new world” in his imagination, wherein a Christian democracy will overcome the world.

When the world never asked for this blessing.

This disregard for the feelings of the rest of the world has led travelling Americans to answer the question, “Where are you from?” with “Canada.” I’ve not done this myself, but I know plenty who have, because it makes life a little easier.

Which makes one think of the Republican rhetoric which suggests that, with them, we will be proud to be Americans. The result, it turns out, is exactly the opposite.

There are so many other issues, such as the economy, which has been handled with similar brutality, but I’m just addressing the one with which I have to contend every day.

So that’s my rant. Take it as you will. Just get out there and vote.

(Originally posted at the Contemporary Nomad)