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More Voted Abroad Than Voted in New Hampshire. Or Montana. Or DC. Together.

• November 07, 2012 • 9:10 AM

Tblisi

From A Home in Tblisi, by Paul Rimple, part of a series of international dispatches on election night appearing every few hours, still, at Roads and Kingdoms:

…nobody around here gives a shit about the elections in the U.S., except for a group of American expats who have been spamming me to get my patriotic mojo together with them at the bar to bash Romney. After ten years in Georgia, this is the most politically active group of expats I’ve seen and unlike Georgians, they are all Democrats.

Georgia’s affliction with the Republican party began with Ronald Reagan, of course. My complaint that Reagan cut my funding for higher education and busted unions falls on deaf ears here and elsewhere in post-Soviet space. Then Clinton put Georgia on the map by laying a pipeline across the country, but the Georgians only respected him for his Lothario reputation. The Republicans made a comeback in 2002 when Bush sent Marines to train and equip Georgians to fight the terrorist threat in a valley near the Chechen border. By 2004, when Saakashvili’s young reformers came to power, Georgia was a firm neocon satellite country. The next year, Georgia became Bush’s famous “beacon of democracy” and the bond between the two countries was unwavering until Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and Bush’s cavalry never arrived.

Georgians are all about personalities.

Four (or maybe six) million Americans live abroad. Civilian expats, deployed soldiers, and various non-military US government employees are more numerous than the constituencies of several Rocky Mountain states and a good bit of New England.

 

Marc Herman

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