Last night, my friend Manuel called me from Buenos Aires.
We hadn’t spoken for a while, and since I cancelled plans to travel with him that we had scheduled for next month, he wanted to check in to make sure that I was OK.
Once the personal chat was out of the way, he got political.
“I don’t understand yanquis. Explain to me why McCain chose Palin.”
I don’t really understand my countrymen, either. So, I struggled to find an appropriate way to answer Manuel.
Me: “Uh. She’s pretty, and she hunts and kills caribou.”
Manuel: “And for that she should be vice president of the United States?”
Me: “Uh, no. There’s more. She’s from a dysfunctional family and she leads Alaska.”
Manuel: “But isn’t Alaska one of your least populated states?”
Me: “Yep. But she goes to church. And her kids play hockey. And she has a funny accent.”
Manuel: “I still don’t understand Yanquis.”
I had to agree with Manuel. I don’t understand many of my countrymen either. How the hell can we explain the appeal that Palin has among certain Americans to people who don’t live in this country? I ended the conversation by telling him I would send him the newest Silver Jews cd and an Obama t-shirt (two things that I told him I’d give him when we were to travel together.
But, I really wasn’t ready to say, “50% of Americans are stupid morons who will vote for anyone who owns a gun and shoots things,” which is what I was thinking.
How do we explain the Palin to our international friends?