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Politics half a world away…ok, maybe a third.

October 8, 2009

Rachel Corrine

Rachel is a local designer/ ranch house expert/ my former “Modern Architecture and Furniture” professor at SCC.

Rachel, for many compelling reasons, is following her “Wanderlust”. She sold almost everything she owns, packed up, and will be traveling and blogging for the unforeseen future.

She’s a brilliant thinker, and an intriguing writer. (which, for all of you who know how much I don’t enjoy reading almost anything–even wordy menus–, is a bold statement)

Her last post was on her recent introduction to Greek politics. Super interesting. Check it out!

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Rachel Corrine Header

“(I hoped to get away from politics for a while…I was actually even ignoring the national elections yesterday here in Greece…so this post is not intended to express a political view, but rather an observation of human behavior.)

Today, the morning after election day in Greece, I went downstairs to pick up Anna for our prearranged walk to the bank.  She was going to exchange my American currency for Euros…not an uplifting event considering the state of our dollar…but I needed to pay rent.

When I arrived…she was watching the news solemnly, and informed me that she was “very sad today.”

“The Socialists win,” she says, “very bad for Greece.”  I couldn’t believe that I had come all the way to Left Wing Europe and I am renting from a Right Winger!  I was so happy inside, but couldn’t show it as Anna was explaining the sadness she felt.  Then, hearing her concern for her country reminded me of how I felt after the last American election…

As we turned out the door and down Varvaras towards Eurobank, Anna continued to explain Greek politics to me. She tells me that Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has been in power for ten years, and has been attempting to fix what the socialist party before him had done.

As we walk, she tells me that, “they didn’t do what they say, they take the money for the roads and the airport and they eat it,  they don’t make anything.”

Apparently when Mr. Karamanlis came to power he vowed to repair what the previous administration had done, and since, the Greeks have a new airport, Metro, and many new roads, but the people did not agree with, or understand his tactics.

Anna says that the Greek people, “don’t see,” and “don’t know anything,” and “vote like animals.”  What she was trying to tell me was that many Greeks are uneducated about the issues and vote emotionally, and unprepared…

…I tell her that this reminds me of America…and she says to that me that at least in America, Obama will be gone in four years…or perhaps eight…but the Greeks are stuck with the Socialists, lead by George Papandreou, for many years to come.  She fears they will ruin everything.

…This was sounding more familliar to me all the time…and the parallels between Greek and Amercian political drama were becoming clear…

The policies urged by both American conservatives and Greek conservatives are similar…as are those between the two Democratic parties…but there is more…whether Left, or Right, we all believe we are cleaning up someone else’s mess, and the majority of voters choose with their hearts, and not their heads, and when we don’t get the “man” we want in office we think the world will go to pot.

I have said many times recently that I was coming to Greece to get away from such conversations…and this today reminded me of why…but also warmed me to know that no matter where your are born, what language you speak, or what side of the spectrum you are on…we are all the same when it comes down to the drama and frustration of politics.

Love, Rach”

Follow her blog. It’s worth it.

More later,

♥B

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