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It just doesn't Translate: Explaining the Election Overseas

Dear Rudy,

In about a week I shall embark on another trip to India. (I cannot remember whether this is my seventh or eighth trip.) I love it there. It's magical and mystical and yet so heart stopping and chaotic. I am drawn back again and again.

A few years ago I was in India when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. I'd be sitting around a table with new friends when suddenly someone would realize I was an American and immediately want to know my opinion on Bill and Monica. Most Europeans scoffed and laughed over the issue, because that kind of stuff is common in their countries. No one ever makes a big deal of it.

My upcoming trip should definitely offer some flavorful memories, particularly of conversations I'm sure I'll have about the election. Indians love to talk politics, and this election will provide fodder for lively discussions. Those long train rides I'll be taking will be anything but boring. The events surrounding the election have shocked me, leaving me feeling a bit embarrassed. This is something I would expect to happen in India, Yugoslavia or Russia, but not in my own United States of America.

The past few days have caused me to think about how to answer the question: "How could that have happened in America?" I don't know what to say. Politics aside, how COULD that have happened here?




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