Last time our country had a presidential election, Travel Boyfriend and I were on our way to Southeast Asia. I remember getting ready to board our plane in South Korea for Cambodia when I saw that my home state of Ohio had officially made Bush president for a second term. Tears sprang to my eyes as I felt shame and sadness. I was embarrassed and angry and could not understand how the man behind Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib could get anyone’s vote, let alone the majority of the nation’s.
I remember the conversation we had with our cab driver when we arrived in Phnom Penh. He told us he was confused because he’d ever met anyone from the United States claiming to like George Bush, so how could the man get elected again? I informed him that sadly, and most likely, the people who would vote for Bush were not the same people who would ever travel to Cambodia.
Throughout the trip we were asked to defend the voting actions of our fellow countrymen, but we couldn’t come up with a single defense. We were told that the world had excused America after the first Bush win due to the inconsistencies in voting, but this time, we were on our own. The world had put the USA on the Colbert Report’s notice board and I couldn’t blame them.
So, it is with tremendous gratitude and joy that tomorrow Travel Boyfriend and I will board another plane on our way to our belated honeymoon in Argentina and Uruguay with our heads held high. America is a country capable of so much more than the past 8 years have demonstrated.