From the Top Bunk

My Thought on the 2004 "Presidential Election

While you read the below thoughts, please remember that it is based solely off what people have shared with me while I have been traveling. I have no political party or any bias. I pick the candidates based off who I think will do a better job.� I don�t really think any of the candidates are that great. � ��

The first questions backpackers ask are any of the following:

1 - How long you been here?
2 Where have you traveled?
3 What�s your name?
4 Where are you from?

After these basic questions you are usually into an interesting conversation. Each conversation is very unique because of the diverse country & background of each person.� Everyone seems to have very different views on very similar issues. The only issue I have heard a unanimous view (with the exception of a very friendly taxi driver in Fiji) is the United States presidential status & upcoming election. When anyone finds out I am from the US they ALWAYS ask about my political view. I don�t think I have talked to anyone over 10 minutes where this topic has not been talked about. Everyone knows the US is the world�s premier super power & they know what we do influences everyone.�

Everyone to a person expects the US to not re-elect Bush because they think it is obvious to the people of the US how he has ruined our reputation. It would be lying to say that everyone has always loved the US. � However, people who I have talked to the most about this (from Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand), were not overly negative in regards to opinion of the United States until the recent invasion of Iraq. � They all see the news where people are dying every day & no weapons are found. Some see people from their country dying & people in the US thinking that they are the only ones with soldiers over there. � I have heard this especially from people of Canada & England. � People I have met have had loved ones in Iraq & they are for supporting the troops. Most of the people were even ok with the war against Afghanistan because of 9/11.� But when the United Nations did not support Bush�s view & we went to Iraq anyways that turned the view of the world. People started to think about the validity of having the United Nations if the US is just going to do what it wants anyways.

Everyone who reads this already knows about the death toll, lack of results, & turmoil in Iraq so I won�t even go into that.� However, the results of what other countries feel about us are my real concern. � People can�t see how people from the United States don�t see how other countries view them.� They think we have to know how bad we look.� However, it is my view that we really don�t. The media institutes skew the view of this to people in the US. � Internationally if we re-elect George Bush it will be as a slap in the face to foreign affairs. � People will feel as the US people are validating our world bully status & nonchalant attitude towards what others think about us. Not electing George Bush is seen as the first step towards repairing international relations.

Let me also say that no one things John Kerry is the best candidate they have ever seen, but hopefully he will be able to get a fresh slate with international leaders.� I am also not the enamored with John Kerry, but like everyone has said, he would have to try extremely hard to do more damage internationally than Bush has done.� Vote however you feel you want to as I am not telling you what to do. I merely wanted to give you a view of things you may have otherwise not had. � I am not really that political, but I felt this was important enough to post.� �������

In the 2000 election I waited until the last day before the election to make up my mind.� I did Internet research & used several give us your values & we match you up with the candidate.� The web sites ended up dividing me 50% to both Bush & Gore. I ended up voting for Bush because of one issue that was important to my family members.�

- Wrote from the top bunk bed in a dorm hostel in Nadi, Fiji.

2004/10/15 - Brock Waterman