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The Local's Zeitgeist
'Voting is a responsibility'
Photo: DPA

'Voting is a responsibility'

Published: 06 Nov 2012 11:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Nov 2012 11:09 GMT+01:00

For those abroad, it has already been decided - the disapora can only watch from afar, urging their friends and political bedfellows to get out and support the candidate for whom they have already sent off a postal vote.

Although the result will affect the whole world, and millions across the globe will be watching to see what happens, the election night itself belongs to US citizens who have voted.

In the evening various bars across Germany will fill with Americans anxious to see in which direction their country is going to jump.

Will President Barack Obama's supporters forgive him the changes he has not managed to undertake and the missteps of his first term and turn out in enough number to give him another chance?

Or will Mitt Romney manage to unseat him with his promises to use the experience he gained as a business manager to "fix the economy"?

Click here to see what Americans in Germany told The Local.

For many it is a matter of fundamental political principle which will affect their emotional attachment to their country. Commentators suggest this is the most polarised the US has ever been, with the partisan divide more tribal and more rabid.

The Local hit the streets in Berlin to get a taste of what Americans living in the German capital had to say about Tuesday's election.

We also found a fabulous visual representation of some of the statistics surrounding the election - created by a couple of German artists using burgers, fries, ketchup and mustard.

Click here to see figures in fast food.

The Local/jcw/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:17 November 6, 2012 by DoubleDTown
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:45 November 6, 2012 by marimay
Voting tells them you like your options. I don't. They are both rat faced liars owned by big banks and businesses.
17:55 November 6, 2012 by DoubleDTown
Yo, THE LOCAL, please contact me and fill me in on how I breached your terms.
19:50 November 6, 2012 by Bulldawg82
@ marimay

In the USA, you can write-in your own candidate - so you don't have to settle for the worthless candidates of the two major parties. I just got back from voting and I voted for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. He was actually on the ballot and I didn't even need to write him in. Of course, I live in Illinois and we all know who will win it.
21:43 November 6, 2012 by Bigfoot76
Really the US has a broken system by which poor "representatives of the people" are nominated and elected. The process of electing is bad and the people that are elected are bad. It is kind of hard to get excited about voting.

Wait side note.... Toytown Germany headline at 20:38. "Where to buy an American Turkey for Thanksgiving". Because German turkey is out right unpatriotic right? The US Olympic team can wear uniforms made in China and the US Military can wear Uniforms made in Taiwan and fire Italian weapons but people must not settle for foreign turkey on Thanksgiving!!!
02:20 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
'Voting tells them you like your options. I don't. They are both rat faced liars owned by big banks and businesses. '

Says the pro-bailout Europhile, who thinks more bank bailouts are needed to protect German Business.
02:30 November 7, 2012 by gorongoza
Its gonna be game over for Romney soon then he will "remember how special it is to be born in America as a son of an Kenyan African and an American mother"
02:56 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Fact is, Now that Obama might not win, you Haters hate everybody... Haters gonna hate. Nice look, Euros.
03:17 November 7, 2012 by marimay
IchBinKonig,

Are you insane? Pro bailout? You are a nutjob.
03:49 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@marimay

oh good, name calling has started! Great points!

Are trying to tell me that you think the Euro project is a failure? And do you believe that Germany should allow Greece to default on its debt? No, didn't think so. SO you ARE pro-bailout.
03:56 November 7, 2012 by marimay
You are looking for points? That is weird.

No, I am not pro bail out. Take your imagination elsewhere.
04:01 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@marimay

Great! You're anti-Bank Bailouts! We agree! The Euro is a failure, and there is no more need to bail out banks. German Businesses were fine before the Euro and will be fine after the Euro, right?

Great Points! We agree!
04:08 November 7, 2012 by marimay
I've said the EU should be abolished a million times on this website.
04:11 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
in that case, I take it back. proceed with the name calling;)
05:09 November 7, 2012 by ProgandaLady
@ Bulldawg82

'I just got back from voting and I voted for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. He was actually on the ballot and I didn't even need to write him in.'

Thanks, Bulldawg! Did you see what your ilk did in Florida?

look at the numbers, you can thank the libertarians for that.

Romney / Ryan

REP 3,725,197

49.33%

Obama / Biden

DEM 3,761,720

49.81%

Johnson / Gray

LBT 39,689

0.53%

GOOD JOB, JOHNSON! You sure you're not working for 0bama?
06:16 November 7, 2012 by gorongoza
ITS OVER FOR MR ROMNEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Americans has tought him a lesson he will never forget - "YOU CAN´T BE A PRESIDENT OF ONLY A SECTION OF THE POPULATION".

American landscape has changed forever.
06:50 November 7, 2012 by schneebeck
Which "section" of the population was he representing?
09:17 November 7, 2012 by gorongoza
@shneebeck. If you are an American in Germany you are too long away from home to know what is going on in your country.

My advice: go back home now and help Obama rebuild your beautiful country.
09:45 November 7, 2012 by JenDigs
In some ways, I agree with the comment about all politicians being liars and owned... I personally cannot stand the idea of people whose only career has ever been politics - they all need to have a life, a career (other than as a politician or lobbyist!) BEFORE entering the political arena... it is too easy to grow-up in the system and become a slave to the special interest groups, corporations and their own party who helped them get in power...

I also disagree with (what appears to be) the idea that voting for anyone OTHER than the Republican or Democrat candidate is a bad thing... (if that is not what was hinted at above, apologies for misunderstanding)...it is a very good thing, because it tells the Reps & Dems that there are other ideas out there and that they need to reconsider their policies based on the wishes of those being governed... (which, I know matters for just about nothing these days in American politics...)
16:26 November 7, 2012 by schneebeck
@gorongoza #17,#19

Are you an American? Are you living in the United States?

Your post in #17 claimed Romney only represented a section of the population of the U.S. and lost for that reason.

I asked you, "Which "section" of the population was he representing?"

Are you able to answer my question?
17:35 November 7, 2012 by Bulldawg82
@ProgandaLady

You wasted your vote by electing the Status Quo. Your vote for Romney was not only wasted, but so was every vote cast for Obama. We have the exact same situation we did for the past 4 years and it is all because of people like you. You are the problem in America. You are the reason we have gridlock and no budget. If you had any inkling of freedom, you would dare to live free and break out of the two party stranglehold. But - no. You just keep voting Republican or Democrat. you do the same things over and over and expecting different results. Einstein just called you insane. By the way, I live in Illinois and my Libertarian vote didn't hurt anyone - although I wish is could have.
23:53 November 7, 2012 by marimay
PropagandaLady,

It is people like you who are destroying my country.

It should have been Ron.
13:33 November 9, 2012 by wires
Both US parties parties seem to be fine with election districts excluding non-resident US citizens (who must file tax returns, including foreign earned income), indirectly by excluding them from the census which is the basis for forming EDs, even if they are registered to vote at their last US residence. Six million non-residents makes up nearly 10 EDs.

In other words, non-resident Americans who voted, also voted for their disenfranchisement.

Also, the dominating two-party system can only lead to polarization.
13:44 November 9, 2012 by Matt in Florida
We in America that oppose more debt, more bailouts, socialized medical expenses, are screwed. Obama is destroying the free enterprise system with government handouts, a ever increasing number of people are on food stamps EBT, second 8 housing, free phones, disability social security for the slightest problem while they work for cash. America as it used to be has ended. It's the fast track to Greece for us now.
14:04 November 9, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ schneebeck #21

I am just guessing, but I think gorongoza was referring to the Romney's infamous speech about the 47% he does not want to address.
18:21 November 9, 2012 by Enough
Voting should be a priviledge not a responsiblity. I also don't like idiot who can't even name their own state capital or worse voting...they are going to kill us all with their total non grasp on reality.
18:34 November 9, 2012 by agbjr
Those of you who haven't been Stateside in a while frankly know not what has become of the USA. The nation is more divided now than in 1860. Obama and his minions have caused the divide and they encourage it with every speech and action. Obama's "Voting is the best revenge!" comment was frankly a declaration of war on the American way of life. It was a call to arms for his base of union thugs, welfare receivers, and cradle-to-grave socialists. He is a blatant Marxist and is following to the letter Karl Marx's instructions how to destroy freedom from within. Obama tramples and shreds the Constitution daily; he has complete disregard for United States law and exhibits disdain for the American people. He frankly needs a smack across the face with the Constitution. The phrase currently sweeping America is "Lock'n'Load" a simple reference to the Second Amendment and the peoples' right to protect that which is theirs. Sixty years ago we were warned to beware the fifth columnist but no one took the warning seriously ... America, you own Senator Joe McCarthy an apology; he was right.

If United States citizens living in Europe embrace and support European socialism then it is best you stay there and renounce your US citizenship. Those expats loyal to the Constitution and the protection it gives to our God-given rights must come home - NOW! - to help defend their nation and way of life from the most sinister enemy ever faced by the Republic: Obama.

It is about the Constitution and the preservation of OUR Republic!

Lock'n'Load, America.
23:14 November 9, 2012 by bernie1927
What's with the Obama bashing? The thought of a nincompoop like Romeny being in charge, is frightening. If Obama did not get everything done that he hoped, just look at what he inherited! And congress stated that their main objective was to make sure that Obama does not get a second term. How can you work under that system? This entire system needs to be changed. Look at Britain and Germany. Would they waste these obscene sums to buy influence and their respective politicians? Would they spend a whole year to spread poison? Why not have the people vote and forget about this insane voting system of ours? That money could be used to reduce the national debt, for crying out loud.
00:24 November 10, 2012 by agbjr
'bernie1927' obviously hasn't been Stateside lately. Romney is far from being a "nincompoop"; his experience and accomplishments in business and government put Obama's "neighborhood organizer" stint to shame. Since you believe the system of government established by the Constitution needs to be changed - which would include the guaranteed protection of God-given rights as enumerated by the First through Tenth Amendments - it is suggested you renounce your US citizenship and reside permanently in a socialist state. A government-provided apartment in Havana may be more to your liking.
09:24 November 13, 2012 by gherhardt
Matt in Florida and "agbjr", while I grudgingly respect your opinion, I have to wonder why every single time I read diatribe from American Republicans they always spew the same scripts?

It would be refreshing to hear how you were personally affected by a Democrat president. All I keep reading from people like you is angry frustration, and generalized talk about communism, constitution, gun-rights, anti-immigration, and a lot of thinly veiled racism.

This makes it look as if you all learned a script from some source, and this source has indoctrinated you into believing some disturbing things.

I love America, but people like you do not really sound American. You are too angry, too inflexible, too violent, too racist... Are you sure you are not Fascist??

Please be more constructive. It is so obvious that a majority of people in America do not think and feel like you do. You should probably try to be a real American, and try to help your country instead of trying to incite open rebellion. "lock'nLoad".... really???
04:47 November 14, 2012 by Gederts Skerstens
Let's all relax. Nothing new, it's all been done before. For centuries.

gherhardt's debate-terminating "Are you sure you are not Fascist??" is standard procedure, with "Heresy!", "Blasphemy!", "Antichrist!" and "Enemy of The People!" serving the same purpose earlier. Throw in "Climate Denier!".

Leftism isn't a philosophy at all. It's a set of techniques and procedures for some Nomenklatura or other getting and keeping power. That's all. There's no other purpose.

Whether the cycle of power-getting and losing by assorted Theocracies, Aristocracies, Autocracies and Totalitarians is the default human condition, with Democracy an anomaly, remains to be seen.

Remembering that the sweetest scene in recent, or maybe all history was Ceausescu On The Balcony, I'd say to all Lock'N'Loaders - Get more ammo. And then let's see. But get more ammo.
07:46 November 14, 2012 by gherhardt
Most Citizens of relatively peaceful countries know that peace depends on no one having arms of fire, or every person having arms of fire as long as everyone is well trained and in consensus (Switzerland).

A true leftist either abhors weapons as a solution, or believes in them as a source of true chaos and no governance (Anarchy). A true rightist believes that he is better than those whom he "perceives" as weak and is blinded by his fears, possibly driving him to inhumane solutions (These are called Fascists).

Either way, you would have to be destructive, antisocial, diluted, imbecilic enough to believe "propaganda" (deliberate lies designed to convince those who refuse to think by themselves), in order to even consider the call to "Get more ammo".

So, Leftist or Rightist... same thing really, as neither really advocates a peaceful Democracy.

I love what America represents. Unfortunately, America has many "Leftists" and "Rightists" who happen to have a perfect right to express themselves as they wish. However, it is my opinion that a lot of so called Republicans are advocating a Fascist system of beliefs. And a lot of these "Republicans" are very vocal and easy to identify when they write to an English-language German news site. But I have not yet read one single example of a Communist opinion from someone claiming to be a "Liberal".
08:26 November 14, 2012 by Gederts Skerstens
Gherhardt, both you and I know that the Communists hold the World Record for Mass Murder.

Your mission is to make that acceptable and mine is to make it unacceptable.

Do your best. Let's see how it goes.
16:18 November 14, 2012 by gherhardt
There is some misunderstanding about what I said, when I thought I had written a simple message: Both Fascism and Communism are wrong.

I am Centrist. I care nothing for Left nor Right, only for a good balance that will help the most and hurt the least.

Your labeling me as a Communist is "Propaganda" (see above) and wishful thinking. It is also naive and lazy.

However, your stand against Communism without condemning Fascism has more than identified you as the later.

Please study up on Fascism and the horrors which it has caused throughout the world. Hitler was the prime example, but unfortunately not the last. East Germany has many misguided, disenfranchised young people who identify with the Fascist ideals that fill them up with false "self-esteem". And America seems to be full of many angry young, disenfranchised men who fit this terrible and destructive philosophy.
18:08 November 15, 2012 by Loth
If I move and I have a few times in the last ten years. I have to register to vote. Just like clockwork I am put on jury duty. It is a real hardship for me or my wife to go on jury duty. What we are paid on jury duty just does not cover expenses. It could bankrupt us if one of us had to go on a trial that lasts a year or so. So I did not vote this time but then again, my vote would not really count using the electoral system anyway. Most voted for Romney in my state as I would have but Obama got the most electoral votes in the big electoral states. The Popular vote should be used so your vote counts.
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