My family and I moved to Italy during the Clinton administration, we didn’t know that we’d be returning to the States years later in a much different atmosphere.
During the first “W” Bush election, I found myself in profound political discussions with wealthy republican friends at The American International School in Florence, and the amusing part is, I didn’t think that I was a very political person. But, if my hippie-priest father and Southern-Methodist turned Episcopalian-artist-black-sheep-of-her-family mother taught me anything, it was to be a liberal-minded, independent thinker. So, argue I did. But Bush still got elected.
Education, in whatever form, is one of my father’s top priorities in life. My first full sentence was in Spanish because we were in Costa Rica for six months while I was still in diapers. Spain, Mexico, Ecuador and countless other countries followed and my sister and I were always there for the experience. When I found out that Bush had nary left the country…okay, maybe Mexico, once…when he took office, I was shocked that a leader of one of the most powerful countries of the world had such insufficient international education. As I learned more and more about Obama, my heart grew ever fonder. Hawaii, Kenya, and have you heard him pronounce “Pakistan”? Beautiful.
Bush scared me, but Palin scares me more. Actually, what scares me is that many people in this country like…no, adore her. However, what I came to realize in my first political argument, and what I love about this country, is that it is huge. And diverse. The awesome thing about human nature is that if you have been raised with the mindset, or given the opportunity to be a free-thinking individual, it cannot be taken away. Whichever way the election goes, I trust that those of us who know that this political climate needs to change…we can make it happen.