Following the United States Presidential Election

Tue Sep 21 02:52:07 PDT 2004

Dear friends and colleagues who live in Europe,

I have concluded that in order to have a reasonable chance of knowing "what is going on" in the US Presidential Election of 2004 (or any other election) you have to satisfy at least two conditions:

(1) You have to really want to know. (No explanation needed!)

(2) You have to be present in, or very near, the United States. "Near" does not mean distance alone: it could be sufficient to live at a US military base or an American consular community.

I recently returned from a more than three week trip to Europe. A colleague of mine, an American citizen of foreign birth, was there even longer. During the trip I met Europeans who wanted to discuss the election, American "ex-pats" who wanted to discuss the election, and Americans there on short trips, like myself, and various other people who wanted to discuss the election. Here are some facts:

Here are my explanations.

Here are some more facts about the current campaign: In conclusion, I would like to express my apologies to the Europeans, non-Europeans, and American ex-pats whom I accused of not trying to follow the campaign. When I was there, I tried as hard as possible to do so, and could not, as did my European born colleague. So, it may be impossible; in any case, it is very difficult.