Sunday, November 2, 2008

Election Politics over Lebanese

For lunch, I met up with my friend Maged who you may remember from my excursion to Ras Sudr at the Red Sea. He and his cousin and I went for Lebanese food at Taboula. Or at least, I went for Lebanese which is despite some similiarities to Egyptian cuisine, too foreign for Maged. He opted for some meat and french fries alternative from the "international dishes" options. I had fatteh with eggplant and a delicious fresh salad. Over the course of our meal, we began discussing politics and I find it quite telling that as I was typing just now I almost wrote "disgusting politics".
Apparently, Maged's been hearing things from relatives in America and from Fox News about how bad Barack Obama would be for America. Naturally, I reassured Maged that he was definitely not a Muslim and that it shouldn't matter if we had a Muslim president anyway and also suggsested that perhaps allowing gays to marry was a little less evil than turning Iraqi civilians into casualties. Firmly pro-life myself, I agreed with him that Obama's proposed policies on abortion and adoption did not go as far as I'd like them to, but posited that a McCain presidency would do little to change the status quo. I think that a more rigorous sex ed. program in public schools would also help reduce unwanted pregancies, in turn reducing the number of abortions. This is more likely to happen under Obama. Anyway, Maged wasn't having any of it. Fox News and his relatives who swear Obama's a Muslim poised to cause the downfall of America had already won his heart and mind. Defeated, but glad Maged wasn't a US citizen with a vote, I did the only thing I could, called up Catherine, my favorite McCain supporter (the only American I know here who is) and got them together to chat about the economy, their reservations about Obama, and a host of other unrelated non-political things. They exchanged phone numbers and plan to hang out soon. I'm fostering cross-cultural relationships and goodwill even among those whose political views drive me nuts. Go figure.
For the past hour or two, I've been working on my midterm, which is actually a great deal of fun. My law professor, Mike Kagan, has a great sense of humor and has incorporated it into this three theoretical cases to be analyzed. Maybe now I should start on another paper I have due Tuesday or my Rotary report. Yikes! So much to do.

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