The longest-ever season of the SURVIVOR “reality” show continues, and we Americans are glued to our screens to see who will be eliminated from the island the next time the tribe has spoken.
Being as self-centered and myopic an audience as Americans are, we hardly give a thought to the impression this show is making on another audience:
That is, the rest of the world.
What? All those foreigners are interested in SURVIVOR (also known as our presidential election)?
You bet they are! And no doubt they wish they could cast their multitudinous votes against all the bullies, backstabbers and connivers and in favor of the decent, agreeable contestants.
Those foreigners have as keen an interest in this game as we do. It’s everybody’s concern. We have as much military power as the rest of the world combined, and we’re notorious for misusing it. They have a pretty good idea who’ll misuse it next time, and they’d want such contestants voted out.
One thing we’ve hardly ever heard an American pundit mention is,"How is this show looking to that important audience of outsiders?" Let’s do some educated surmising:
A win by that grimacing old divebomber McCain probably would evoke a collective groan of dismay from almost everybody who yearns for peace. Some who would like him to win, though, are the jihadists in the audience, those who have flourished in the fertilizer of George Bush’s stupid bellicosity these last five or six years. To them, McCain would be another load of the same rich, stinky stuff -- one more Satan face on their recruiting poster for anti-American terrorists.
Well, then, how would the world like to see Hillary as the final survivor?
Much of the world would be glad to see the great leap upward in the Oval Office I.Q. The world remembers that her husband had phenomenal mental energy and a great capacity for listening and learning, and that she’s extremely smart, too -- although not too smart to be snookered into voting for war on Iraq.
People know the Clintons have some difficulty being truthful and that they’re ruthlessly ambitious and beholden to wealthy and powerful corporate interests to a troubling degree. But Hillary is rational, and apparently a good mother, and she can take a licking and keep on ticking. Women around the world probably would feel uplifted.
As for Barack Obama being the last Survivor: It’s likely that much of the world’s population would like that outcome and feel relief.
Plainly, he’s no warmonger. He believes it’s wise to listen and think before you strike. He believes it’s a good idea to talk with leaders who are upset with us and find out why.
Finally, much of the world would see America differently if we put a “person of color” in the Oval Office, that is, an American president who isn’t white and wealthy. Rich, white guys haven’t done a very good job of running the world.
Rich, white men are a tiny minority in the world, although they do own most of it. They are virtually deaf to anything the poor, brown masses have to say.
Most of the rest of the world remembers how Gandhi got the lordly whites’ attention: with satyagraha (“Insistence on truth”), which is the calm, peaceful, friendly, steady pressure for reform.
Obama may or may not be another Gandhi, but he knows what the needs and discontents of the poor, brown, yellow, red and white people are.
So, as this long, long SURVIVOR show ends, much of the world would probably be contented to see that the last one standing is that tall, graceful, reasonable, open-minded, peaceloving tan guy with ears that are obviously spread wide as antennas to hear what everyone has to say.
But, you might say, Bush had outstanding ears too!
True. But nothing between them except crude oil.
James Alexander Thom can be reached at .