I don't do very well in election years (especially British or American ones). I tend to take it all very personally, get too involved, and usually end up boiling over in frustration on results day. So I am trying to ration my engagement with the latest American election, particularly because I think I am going to be disappointed for the third time in a row.
I hope I'm wrong. But consider the facts. Americans voted in George Bush twice. The first time it was a close call, and some would say that quite a bit of cheating went on with complicated ballot papers, and Fox News calling it too soon. The second time - Bush got in with an even wider margin. Fortunately for the Republicans he can't stand again, so there's a kind of reset button being pushed and the Republicans can now happily distance themselves from that moron and put all their hope in McCain and Palin. But even if they put a sack of potatoes up, I think the Republicans would get in.
Obama is already trailing in the polls by up to 5 points, and while the Republicans have been criticised for choosing Karen from Will and Grace as their 2nd in command, she seems to have attracted female voters who were disappointed that Hilary Clinton didn't get to run.
Sarah Palin - the next vice-president of America?
Conservatives and Christians have controlled the discourse of American politics for the past decade or so - typical Democrat concerns - things like the formalisation of gay relationships or gun control are rarely mentioned by Obama or other important Democrats. And if you want to get anywhere in American politics you have to profess to be very religious. So really, there's not that much to choose between McCain and Obama anyway. Politicalcompass.org places them both squarely in the authoritarian/right wing quadrant (the same holds for Labour and Conservative for that matter).
So I doubt Obama stands any chance of winning. And perhaps even more depressingly, I don't think it'll make that much difference even if he did. In America, a single ideology has already triumphed. It's one based around rejection of rationality, glorification of greed and inequality, and distrust of "alternative lifestyles". To paraphrase Orwell, if you want to imagine the future of America, it's a boot stamping on the face of a gay man. Forever.