Obama or McCain
The dinner started off just fine. The food was good. The atmosphere started out very positive. Then Hans asked his American colleagues who they favored, Barack Obama or John McCain. It was October 2008, just weeks before the presidential election.
Maria, a Democrat, was a native of the Chicago area. For her it was clear that the junior senator from Illinois would win the election. Jack said he liked Democrats and their basic political direction, but was worried about their economic policies, and about Obama’s lack of experience.
Nancy was reluctant to engage in a discussion about politics. But in a few words it was pretty clear that she was a loyal Republican. Evelyn played fly on the wall, just listening.
Hans couldn’t wait to get into the discussion. He had followed American politics ever since he was in high school in Germany. He was familiar with the two parties, their political platforms. He knew about their candidates for president going back at least four elections.
But not just politics. Born and raised in Germany, America had been ever-present in his life: politically, culturally, economically. From his perspective, how could any well-educated German not be interested in the U.S., in Americans, in what and how they think !
How will the conversation progress from here?