Four more years.
I am bipartisan when following the USA elections from Paris. Not in my position. I’m quite clear. But with the watching. Of the election. In Paris.
Let’s start with me being 50% OPPOSED.
With at least a 5 hour time difference, there was a whole lot of lead up. I woke on the Big Day to a crowd of TV commentators eager to get this election underway. But with hours and hours before the first ballot was cast, we over on this side of the Atlantic became as exhausted by the election as those living in swing states. There was footage replayed over and over of the highlights leading up to the election.
“I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America.”
“With a big storm you need a big government.”
And then there was the whole legitimate rape nonsense.
Over and over and… le sigh… over.
The French are both floored and captivated by the American dog and pony show that is the election. It’s also a time where the French feel bonded with America. The French love marching and protesting. It’s what they do. I can’t even get out of the Métro without being accosted by a student wearing a bright t-shirt asking for a minute of my time. Yesterday, it was the Orange Shirt students. The day before it was the Green Shirts. Today it might be Yellow. Or poetically, Blue.
The French like a good fight even if everyone agrees. And if you’re in the USA, you know what I’m talking about. I recall my days of living in the USA when friends would sit at a café and get down right red-faced, slamming the table and yelling about why they agree.
Even me and my meek Canadian ways have learned to fight the good fight in France. I’ve pushed up my sleeves and pulled out my dukes when I’ve thought a cab driver was trying to rip me off or the waiter has brought bottled water (4 Euro) instead of the requested free tap water. I’ve ruffle my feathers loudly in my broken French, telling them I’m not a tourist so don’t pull that crap on me. Then I say, “Absolument non!” repeatedly until the other party concedes.
Luckily, feather ruffling is a universal language. I’m almost bilingual.
Why I am 50% FOR watching election coverage in Paris.
With so much time on our hands waiting for the American voting stations to open, there was a ton of election education covered by the TV stations in France. I have finally learned why words like “270” and “OHIO” are so important. I knew before but now I really know. There was even an entire hour dedicated to Florida. I was also educated on the history of American elections. What happened in the last 8 years, 16 years, 32 years… oh my GOD JUST OPEN THE POLLING STATIONS ALREADY.
And once all the polling stations were open and running, it was time for bed.
While the USA was biting its collective nails as results came in, I had a fitful night sleep, dreaming of Big Bird with Romney hair, stranded in a rubber dingy with Jon Stewart. Together they floated in a sea of red and blue ties.
When alarm went off, I woke to streamers and an Obama speech.
I sat on the edge of my couch thanking God for many things. I thanked God the election wasn’t close enough to contest. But most of all, I thanked God it was over.
Because the last thing we need is more election coverage.