If someone tells you that Europe is not trying to influence the US election with all her might -- then this someone is wrong. I'm European, I'm not allowed to vote. However, I'm the wife of a (voting) US citizen and the mother of two (non-voting) US citizens. Therefore, I feel obligated to do my best and ensure a brighter future for my husband and sons. These are my tactics: Blackmail I told my US relatives that we WILL NOT live in the US as long as a Bush is president. I'm keeping this vague on purpose. This way, I have my options open if Jenna gets elected in '28 or so. My mother-in-law is persuaded; however, she does live with her husband who is a stout Republican. I love him but he's got a political blind eye, and he tries to undermine my efforts. I shall call her on election day and remind her of my threat, just to be sure. Unfortunately, the threat doesn't work one bit with my Republican sister-in-law and her husband. I think they are not taking me seriously. Will they ever be surprised. (Of course, I'm hoping that I don't have to live up to my threats.) Encouraging voter registration Doug did want to vote, yes. But he's also Mr. Procrastination and while I love and trust him, I did make sure that he applied for his absentee ballot. (Opening the respective website, cajoling him into the desk chair, hovering over his shoulder until he hit "send" can, I believe, be called "making sure". Or harassment.) Reminding to vote I also asked him every day whether he'd sent his ballot off. Every day. Multiple times. Stating my side We do have a Kerry/Edwards yard sign. I made it myself. Isn't it gorgeous?
Why, you ask, a yard sign in a country where 99.9% of the inhabitants cannot vote in this particular election? So, what if an expat walked by my sign, acknowledged my deep feelings, and out of respect and friendship for me made up his undecided mind and voted Democrat? I say, if I play the lottery, I can also put up a yard sign. I also made my husband laugh in delight. So there. Endorsement While I'm only speaking for myself, I'm sure my co-writers Doug and Carlos agree: Halfway down the Danube endorses John Kerry and John Edwards. Please consider voting for Kerry/Edwards. I'm not saying they are the greatest, or that they will make everything wonderful and good. But they will make things better, because -- let's face it -- it would take a very extraordinary talent to make things worse than they already are. Remove that one talent from office and give the other team a chance. Thank you very much for your attention. Yours gratefully, Claudia Muir