Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

The USA Election Interview

With us being citizens of the USA, teaching English classes, being part of the community life and being voters in the USA, people are interested in our take on the politics in the USA. The USA politics influence German life and is quite often a topic of discussion. As a citizen of Heaven we still live here but we live by different norms and ways of thinking. The problem has been to combine those two aspects of our lives and communicate it in a way that people listen to and understand. Many people in Germany have very strong views on USA politics, what should be done and how the USA should vote. Quite often they do not understand the USA situation, mentality and way of life; then too many are totally influenced by the mainstream German media which flows in one direction.
Part of the Fall semester American Conversation class was to investigate the USA election. We looked at the election process and issues of importance. I would guess way over 90% of the Germans would have voted against Trump. So I asked in the class why would anyone vote for Trump. My goal was not to get them to like Trump, I did want to vote for him either but he did do some good things for which people would vote for him. I was trying to get my students to think critically and not just swallow what the media feeds them - hook, line, and sinker. The first night no one could name one good reason, not one. So I gave them an assignment to find reasons to vote for Trump, Biden, The Greens and The Libertarians. In the secular world critical thinking is important - especially in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). For us as Christians it is also extremely important because we believe only those search for truth with find the Truth. We hope to start people to start thinking outside their normal ways of thinking.
I was also interviewed by the Peine Allgemein Zeitung. The article was written by a wife of one of my students. She wanted my take on things. We were in the USA at the time that she asked but had returned before the article was published. In this I also wanted to express views, first, as a Christian and second as an American. I also wanted to get people to think, question, and look beyond what they are spoon fed.

PAZ Wahl 2-10-20