blogenlust
11.01.2004

The Votemaster


If you've been following Electoral Vote.com this election season, you might have wondered who the mysterious "Votemaster" is. Today, he reveals his identity:
My name is Andrew Tanenbaum. I am one of the 7 million U.S. citizens living abroad. I am a professor of computer science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Most of you have never heard of me but in an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny corner of the universe I have done enough stuff that Google has somehow managed to dig up 10,000 pages referring to me. When I am not collecting data, analyzing it, or blogging, my day job is doing the kind of stuff professors at major research universities normally do. The best part is working with young people, especially my graduate students.
Int. He also provides a nice anecdote of what it is like being an American abroad these days:
Let me tell you a short story. When I was in elementary school, the school was plagued by a bully. He was the biggest, strongest kid around and would beat up anyone he didn't like. We were all exceedingly polite to his face, but hated his guts behind his back. One day he was chasing some poor kid and he tripped and skidded a considerable distance, scraping his face on the rough asphalt of the playground. He was bleeding and in pain, screaming for help. But nobody came to help him. We all just walked away. George Bush is the world's playground bully. The world sees him--and by inference, America--as arrogant, self-centered, and mean. I spoke to Americans from dozens of countries at the DA caucus. Everyone told the same story--the world hates America. When talking to foreigners, I can tell them about the Bill of Rights or freedom or World War II, or whatever I want, but all they see is this big, stupid, arrogant, playground bully and a stolen election in Florida last time. I think America deserves better. I want America to be respected in the world again, and John Kerry can restore the respect America deserves.
That sounds about right to me.