I grew up in Canada and only recently arrived here, so my view of today’s U.S. midterm elections isn’t all that different from this Slate article, which describes the elections in the way the U.S. media would, if they took place in a different country.
Here’s an excerpt:
President Barack Obama’s ruling party will almost certainly lose seats, but whether or not the opposition is able to take over the upper house will be determined by closely fought races in the nation’s torrid southeastern swamps, central agricultural region, and even frigid Arctic villages thousands of miles from the capital.
There is no shortage of pressing issues, from a sluggish economic recovery to multiple foreign wars, facing this large and diverse society. Still, elections in this vast nation can often be characterized by idiosyncratic local rituals. In this campaign season, feats of strength involving dominating animals have been popular. One opposition candidate for national office has boasted of castrating pigs…
…another of wrestling alligators:
While the country’s citizens have migrated en masse to large cities in search of greater economic opportunity, specialists in American folkways say people here still value these demonstrations of rural aptitude. Not to be outdone, government loyalists have boasted of their marksmanship…
and snowmobiling skills:
Appealing to nationalist sentiment, the opposition has accused the government of allowing too many immigrants to make their way across the country’s southern border, tying this issue to fears of deadly viruses and terrorism. There have also been disturbing unconfirmed reports of a “war on women” being waged by religious extremists in the country’s Western mountains.
In this deeply traditional society, where great import is accorded to family ties, powerful clans build patronage networks, and political office is often passed between relatives. Remarkably, one race pits the cousin of a former governor against the daughter of a former senator.
Go, my American friends, and vote for the warlord, chieftain, elder, or archon who will best represent you and your clan!