The 2012 U.S. Presidential elections are the very first presidential elections in which I am eligible to vote. At first, I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t physically be in my home nation to exercise my right and experience the simultaneous celebration and commiseration as one candidate accepts his victory. However, my absentee ballot has ben submitted, and it counts just as much as if I had walked into a church basement polling station. And there is no shortage of hype here in the U.K.! Most all media units are honed across the Atlantic as each state’s numbers travel through the airwaves at what feels like a snail’s pace (even though the results are almost instantaenous and constantly updated- hats off to you, New York Times! ). From election night parties (raging until the very last ballot is counted at 5AM UK time) to rousing debates over a pint, intrigue in the U.S. elections does not only stem from American students, for it is the world, not only America, that takes an interest. A presidential election can dramatically impact transatlantic relations and other foreign policy dimensions ( Lecturers comment on the U.S. in nearly every politics lecture in some capacity).
The perspective I have right now is incredible, and I am fortunate to be an outside observer watching the waves of choice, rhetoric, and change wash the U.S. shores ( in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, no less!) Facebook and twitter are alight with commentary, very divided, but also throughout-provoking. The beauty of social networking? Everybody is a pundit. When people hear that I am a politics student, they love to talk about elections, and often ask who I vote for. Yet, politics is so much more than a check mark next to a name. It is about the amalgamation of interests in pursuit of a common goal. What that goal is must be determined by the people.
When I wake up tomorrow morning, the people of my country will have charted its course for the next for years. May the polls be ever in your favor.