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   You would think somebody who became an American citizen specifically just to vote in the 2012 election  for you would either be a newly overly enthusiastic patriot or an unabashed supporter. Actually neither is true. I am ambivalent about patriotism in general, I feel grateful to the goat/dog/squirrel/hockey puck Gods that I was born in North America instead of a non western country, mainly because the lives of women in many of those places is not awesome. I came here in 1998 not intending to stay and of course I ended up staying. Since life was relatively kind to me here, I felt I did owe America a slight favor. My sense of obligation to vote for you came from a desire not to inflict on other Americans another Republican President. I reasoned that another Republican President could also end up with two terms and I was a bit concerned that by the end of that I would be walking down streets past obligatory wall propaganda with mandatory megaphones mounted everywhere shouting things like " a good worker is a silent worker/only enemies of the state don't reproduce/report neighbors who don't pray." I felt like man I gotta do these Americans a solid and not be the person who didn't vote and put in some crazy right wing rat kissers. I live in Tennessee so I know quite a few crazy right wing rat kissers. PS. Sorry to all you rats, but I haven't had good experiences with you. And I don't want to kiss you.

   Everybody here is not like that of course. However, most of the very devoted biblical voters ( I distinguish them from simply Christians because I know too many nice ones ) are not overly invested in democracy and were probably going to vote for other people who were not overly invested in democracy. So. I voted for you and you did not betray me because having lived here long enough, I kept dropping the bar lower and nothing that happened really discouraged me.

    I did have some vague and transitory moment at some point where I thought "gee Americans must be tired of consistently being denied access to even basic health care, surely that will piss them off enough to consider single payer". Buzz. I was wrong. I also thought " Well surely Americans won't believe that the most important threat to society is terrorism and agree to fight not one but two wars and give up some silly rights they probably had stored in the attic anyway, don't they remember the relentless and ridiculous drum beat of communism and  fears about communism that dominated huge portions of the 20th century and allowed all kinds of compromises and decisions that mostly just maintained the fear?" Buzz. I was wrong.

    That was when I learned that it was going to be impossible for you to betray me because Americans did it to themselves so often, dressed it up in some easy and agreeable "value" that supported one of the big three here: God/country/capitalism and swallowed agreeably. I should have known this having lived in Canada  for many where people love to complain endlessly and then vote for the same people or complain about their high taxes  vote for cuts but demand services remain the same. I figured, Mr. President, that you were an intelligent and reasonable guy who like many people who succeed in this system despite not always having advantages, basically believed in the system as it is currently manifested. I don't myself, I tend to be cynical and pessimistic.

    My perception of the "hope and change" meme that so many people bitterly spit out when they rail against you for dismissing progressive ideals, was that you would somehow not do more damage than was already done, you might make health care ever so slightly more accessible, and a few other things designed to possibly at least keep the hole in the dyke plugged. My sense, if after the next election we get a Republican President, is that after some amount of time you will become revered by people who thought badly of you because things will be much, much, worse. Honestly, I will have zipped back to Canada by then. Canada is not the liberal paradise many wishful thinkers believe it is but in my middle age I have some personal obligations.

So. you did not betray me because if living here has taught me anything it is to have fewer expectations, not more. I am just happy zygotes are not voting and women are not re-located to birthing camps so they can be properly monitored. I am happy that my gay brothers and sisters are making a few micro steps toward equality and you did not overtly try to obstruct that. There are plenty of things not to be happy about. Turns out you are very forgiving of corporate America and not seriously interested in challenging them much. However, exempting a few past holders of the office, that seems to be the norm.

I don't feel disappointed in you. I don't feel betrayed by you because I still do not fully grasp what people expected of you in the first place. I suspect that makes me a "bad" American. I know I was supposed to believe in something, something you were supposed to represent, but I am baffled still. Lucky for you I am not typical.

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