Reasons why I知 #FeelingTheBern
Ive been on DU for years but I dont say much and this is my first post (start). I try to just support the posts I read and give them recs and kicks when I can. I live in Europe and Im watching from afar and this election is very important not only for me, but for my home country.
I want to share something I wrote to one of my Bernie supporters in the US last night.
Me: Democratic Socialist is not a dirty label here.
Are things better for the general public there, she asked?
My reply was:
#1, I see very few homeless people. I saw tent cities in Compton LA last year which was pathetic. Sad and disgusting to see people have to live like that. Honolulu Hawaii was the worst of them all. Europe has big dirty cities with homeless but most of Europe have small villages that don't allow that. They house their people. They give them healthcare if they can't afford it and I've never seen anyone use food stamps. Universal Healthcare is a right and there are many English speaking doctors available.
#2. Democratic Socialism is prevalent here. You can see it everywhere. The smooth pot hole free roads, the well-used but clean public transportation that runs every 7 minutes, the city workers that sweep the streets after each storm, the taxes we pay for roads (are higher) but at least I dont have to worry about hitting a pot hole and damaging my vehicle or worry about a bridge falling down while I cross it. The roads and bridges are well marked and you have to be careful of not only other vehicles, but bicycle lanes, tram lanes, cross walks and pedestrians. I see children on the trams and not long lines of minivans dropping kids off at school. I see parks and recreation areas right outside my door so that I can walk everywhere safely, even at night.
#3. Education is good and in kindergarten, they teach the Swiss German kids French. Then in 5th grade, they start them in English and by the time they finish secondary school, most of them are multilingual. There are at least 3 schools within walking distance of our apartment and are well funded and staffed.
#4. I can see it in the form of employee rights, paid vacations, paid holidays and concrete block building practices so that I dont have paper thin walls in my apartment. Unions are also not a dirty word here. Everything is shut down on Sundays and everyone spends time with their family. Theres a better work/life balance.
#5 Crime is low. I have never seen anyone but police carry guns and that is usually at the airport. I dont see any police patrolling the highways like they do in the states. The police station in my village is closed on the weekends. I see borders that are open and sane. Living in Europe gives me the sense of security I never had in the states.
Over my 56 years, I lived in the Midwest, the south and the north east and lived in AZ before moving to Europe and I was always afraid of road rage, driving while brown or black and worried that some gun nut was going to start shooting at the grocery store. These fears seem irrational but they were there and I have none of that here. None of that. Life is better here and I believe a lot of that is because Democratic Socialism is normal here. Its not a bad word. Its not something to fear. Ive seen the public good that this country has and most of the European countries that Ive visited and lived in. Ive been to the UK, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Denmark and will be visiting more this year. Im not bragging, Im just listing the countries Ive visited the past decade and all of them are civilized. Sure we have crime, but nothing like the mass shootings that the US seems to have on a regular basis.
My facebook friend said, you should post that on facebook and I said, out of respect for my Mother, I promised I would not post political stuff there for her to see. Shes a liberal but she lives in a red state and I promised that I would keep my political opinions to myself because she knows, Im a liberal too.
I am a Democratic Socialist American living abroad and I want America to vote for Bernie to make sure that none of the GOP monsters get into the White House. The world is watching and they are horrified by Trump, or Cruz or Bush. None of them would last a day here. Please keep us Americans abroad in mind as you canvas for Bernie (or Hillary). Please remember that the world is watching and we need to elect a liberal to keep us from being the laughing stock of the world again and bring some sanity back to our elections. Thanks for reading, I just had to get that off my chest.
I completely agree.
Access to Healthcare and education is a right here and so we haven't all become communists.
All the Americans I know here are feelin' the Bern. Except one who a Trump supporters. Weird.
I don't know of anyone supporting Trump except for maybe my relatives (tea party idiots) that I haven't spoken to in 3 yrs.
The only two European countries I've visited are Sweden and the Netherlands. Both were very nice countries. I hope to get back to Europe to see a large part of it someday.
In contrast from Europe, I can tell you that I have visited many Asian countries and seen a variety of different situations.
Japan by far was the best (though I was only in Osaka for the day). I wasn't there enough to form an opinion other than it is clean and the pollution is very low.
South Korea where I live is probably the middle ground. People are taken care of for the most part, but the social safety net is not the best. There is a lot of pollution, litter, and spitting (oh that drives me nuts). We have a great healthcare system and things for the most part are kept nice. The transportation system is great, but it is getting expensive.
In my opinion China was a bit different. I lived there 10 months (an academic year) teaching and there was a lot of pollution. The transportation system where I lived was just buses. Lots of pollution and litter. Things are maintained at a minimum level. Insurance was a problem and the hospital I went to scared the living crap out of me.
I've visited the Philippines quite a few times. It is very dirty, very polluted, and the transportation system is not good. Too many cars on the road and most of them drive crazy. Health care is a concern. I did injure myself on one trip and had to go to the hospital. They took good care of me. Blackouts seem to be a problem and that delayed getting an x-ray. Their health insurance seems to be inadequate. Corruption is a large problem. Lots of homeless children who beg for money on the streets. Very sad....
My husband has traveled to the far east many times, S. Korea, Japan (which he loved), China and Malaysia. We were in Singapore for a few weeks a decade ago but the weather is what bothered him most there. He's heat intolerant and I love the heat. I didn't care for the food and the situation was not optimal for us and we were anxious to come back to Europe. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I really appreciate hearing about the healthcare situation, the homeless and how having power on a regular basis should not be taken for granted. Europe is insulated from weather events for the most part and some of the areas of the world prone to disasters scare me too. I don't even like to get on a boat anymore! Thanks for sharing and giving your perspective.