I had a chat with my Italian friend F on Facebook today. He wanted to ask me some "European questions," as he called them. What he meant by that was, questions that all Europeans have about things they just do NOT understand about Americans. I know there are quite a few, so I was intrigued enough to open the floor to questions, and I set myself forth as the American ambassador.
His first question was about Sarah Palin. He wondered if she would really help McCain's campaign, because in Europe, "she is a nightmare," he said. He pointed to her hardcore conservative views and her strong religious overtones. This is anathema to the Europeans. I had to explain to him how she could appeal to some people, and he did understand, but there is something uniquely American in that appeal that I'm sure escapes nearly everyone else in the world. Most of the rest of the world, I'm sure, sees only the policies, but we have a tendency in this country to vote with our hearts, and Palin has a personal story and a personality that appeals to many, even those who can't stand her politics. That said, I also think she's easily as scary as Cheney...even with the lipstick.
We touched on economics and a little more on the war. In all, it was the kind of conversation I've missed for a long time. I was impressed with his intelligence. We'd never really talked all that much before. And he was apparently impressed with mine, stating that he loved me, but feared that I would disappoint him. I found that to be a curious statement. We've never been particularly close - in fact, I think I've only talked to him a couple of times, and that was months ago - so I think his translation might have been a bit off. Or something.
Politics seems to have everyone interested again. I spoke on Facebook a couple of days ago with a fellow, M, in Australia with I also have not spoken in quite a while. He, too, wanted to know what I thought of Palin. We talked politics then too. It really DOES appear that the whole rest of the world is solidly behind Obama. Odd we're so evenly split in the U.S., isn't it? I guess I'm beginning to understand the "European questions."