Because politics 101 is what they would call the expert class, and my class is more like Politics 0. The dumb teaching the dumber (where dumb = me and dumber = non-English speaking Japanese adults).
As you can imagine, my adult class tonight was likely full of erroneous information regarding the American political system. And for that, I say to my students 'Gomen ne'. But, I did try to explain it the best I could, in my best teacher voice, as if I were talking to 10-year olds. I won't really try to explain to you what I tried to teach them, for fear of ridicule, but be rest-assured that 11 Japanese adults are going to go home tonight to try to muddle through the election information they hear on the news. All thanks to my bad lesson.
Tonight, to start this conversation (because I was a little slack about planning), I brought in my absentee ballot, a) because it's the coolest thing ever, and b) I knew my Japanese students would give their left foot to be able to fill it out! As they passed it around and 'ooh'ed and 'ahh'ed, I just KNEW that I would get the question, 'Who are you voting for'.
Now, it is not my intention to try to persuade one person or the other. In fact, if you vote against my candidate, I'll be satisfied that at least my vote cancelled out one of yours. And, I'm not about to get into a political debate with you, as I am about as dumb as politics as my students are in English. But, because I think my reasons are good, I am going to tell you who I am voting for, in the same, truthful, plain way that I told to my students.
It all starts like this:
As an international American, the way my country is viewed by the rest of the world is of high importance to me. I find that everywhere I go, people are very interested to tell me what they think of American politics, as if they think I care about politics, or if they think I care what they think. But, nonetheless, choosing the man who represents the face of America is an important choice for me to consider.
Again, I am not an expert on politics, but I do believe that the president of the United States is more like the poster child of America than he is anything else. He doesn't single-handedly pass laws or make decisions. He does, though, speak with foreign leaders, inspire the nation in times of good and bad, and represent what is good in America.
And it's just that when John McCain speaks, I am not ever inspired.
For the last 8 years, we've had a president who is an embarrassing public speaker. Not once in the darkest of times or best of moments have I felt good listening to him. Never have I felt that the words coming out of his mouth were real, or his own. And never, ever, have I had any faith in anything he says.
Plus, I finished off by telling my students that John McCain just has too many chins for my liking.
So, here's my choice, plain and simple, like it or not. Go ahead, cancel my vote out. Or, be smart, and vote along side of me. And my friends. And family. And everyone I know...