So far, Moroccan bloggers have been surprisingly mute on the subject of U.S. politics (save for the posts already mentioned on this site, of course). As Lounsbury of ‘Aqoul put it last week, “there is but passing interest in MENA*” [of U.S. politics].
Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the interest in the blogoma (Moroccan blogosphere) comes from those who do have votes, namely Moroccans who are U.S. citizens and Americans who reside in Morocco. As they are currently the only representation of the blogoma, I will share what they're saying, with the hope that the rest of the blogoma reacts.
Next time I'll tell you about my kind of liberal.
Nope, I don't mean Obama.
Other members of the blogoma are more optimistic about Barack Obama, however, including Laila Lalami:
Voting in presidential elections usually means picking the lesser evil among the politicians running for office, but this time I found a candidate I'm genuinely excited about: Barack Obama. The primary reason for my choice is that Obama opposed the Iraq war back in 2002. I remember that year as a time when the majority of our politicians and our talking heads were falling over themselves trying to sound “tough on Iraq.” They led the country into a disastrous war that will affect the region and the rest of the world for generations. Obama didn't have to say he was against the war, but he did. And that shows judgment.
Surprisingly, I have been asked very few political questions. Even though my political views are not in the least bit neutral, I try to give that impression here in Morocco. I trip over my mouth enough when trying to talk in Tamazight; the last thing I need to do here is get involved in politics. When I was asked my opinion on these two candidates, I quickly turned the question around and asked why he was interested in only the Democratic side. To which he replied, â€œWell no one cares about the other side.â€ Cue my laughing.
Finally, Jenny in Morocco, another PCV, says with poignancy:
I just read that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took the lead in the Minnesota caucus yesterday. It's about time people woke up and started participating in democracy. Being abroad during this time is really interesting. It's as if the whole world is watching the United States right now. Everybody, and I mean everybody, knows the names Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama here. My students here probably are asking more thoughtful questions about this election than high school kids back home. My host family wants to know my opinion about the candidates, how the election works, and who I will be voting for. Even the less-educated people know the names of the candidates. It's really amazing, but actually not too surprising. People allover the world are waiting and ready for a change.
I would like to second that notion and encourage bloggers worldwide (but particularly from Morocco!) to participate in the global discussion and submit links to us. You may not have a vote, but you do have a voice.
* MENA: Middle East and North Africa