Presidents, Politics, and False Truths

This Tuesday, November 6, marks the fourth presidential election of this 21st century. Over the past couple of months, I have had the time to share and hear opinions regarding the upcoming election. In a prior post I remarked how nearly all of the Europeans that I’ve come to know have a positive viewpoint regarding current president Barrack Obama. While my viewpoint of Obama vary from meh to… just meh, I still came to really enjoy what others have come to say.

barrack the rock obama

I think Obama would become instantly be more popular if it turned out his alternate personality was really Dwayne Johnson. (Image from i50.tinypic.com)

And with talking presidents, other issues related to politics, society, and customs somehow always come into play. A few nights ago, during another large gathering of residents in Avant Garde, I found myself spending a lot of time talking with a man from Tehran, Iran and a young lady from Kabul, Afghanistan. If the news media had anything to show right now, you would think that Iranians are out to destroy America (and only America) and everyone in Afghanistan lives in constant fear or is a terrorist.

Let me say right now that any of those notions regarding people from those countries are completely unfounded and should be shoved down the throat of any news anchor (or writer) that feels compelled to force down into us. As I conversed with the two throughout the night, I couldn’t help but find myself believing that these two are some of the nicest persons that I’ve come to know while here in Maastricht.

One story that struck me the most was that of one the lady shared with me about someone she knew (forgive me for not recalling exactly whom the person was). She told me of when American troops, in a moment fear or hate – be it hard to say – killed this man that she knew, for no reason it would seem. It’s beyond belief that such a thing would happen, though the sad truth remains that stories such as these happen from time to time. Needless to say, I gave her a hug and told her that I was sorry for such things that have happened.

Other political discussions were had, ranging from gun rights, abortion, and capital punishment, just to round it out. People’s perspectives vary on those topics, and to avoid any confrontation, I won’t delve heavily into the matter on those since it’s contentious enough as is. But if every abroad, take the time to converse with others; gleaming upon the views of foreigners from lands afar is the healthiest thing you can do.

mountain biking

But not as healthy as mountain biking, though talking tends to have a lower risk of death than the other. (Image from www.sidiergo.org)