Thursday, September 11, 2008

Take lots of deep breaths - it's another American Election

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. 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.


KAZ said...

Very interesting post Lubin.
I've just finished Obama's book 'Dreams from my Father' in which he came over as a highly principled human being.
He was obviously not very religious.
But it was written some time ago.

I agree with you.
Even if he hasn't been corrupted in the meantime he has a snowflake in hell's chance of changing anything significantly.
Hope I'm wrong.

Going To Hell said...

Hey I know this is off topic, but I have been desperately looking for a copy of Doll Soup (I was addicted at the time). Is it kicking around anywhere?

Fin De Fichier said...

A particularly sublime part of the horror of all of this: I truly thought the republicans could not come up with something worse than Bush/Cheney. I'd just assumed that, somehow through the law of averages, we'd still get someone in bed with big oil, still wanting to set the country back to the 1950s, still wanting to leave the country in trillions more debt than they'd found it, but somehow, we'd soldier on, a damaged but still intact country. Or at least humanity would somehow soldier on. If McCain is elected, he better hire a good food taster. I'm sure Palin learnt in girl guides of some poisonous alaskan berry that perfectly mimics the symptoms of cardiac arrest. "John, try some of these blueberries I picked behind the governors mansion!" So let's just assume he's dead one way or another in a couple years. This nutcase gets some "vision" from God out of the book of revelations, 2 weeks later 95% of the land surfaces of the planet are turned into solid glass. An upside is that the burst of radiation mutates deep sea worms sufficiently that, in only 10 million years, they've evolved into a highly intelligent life form.

Rick said...

BBC World Service and The Daily Show have really quizzed those voters who are supporting McCain, asking them the real reason behind "small-town values", "family values", and what new things McCain can bring to the presidency. So far not one person intereviewed has had an intelligent answer. Americans are now used to responding to potential fears of security, immigration etc, and Obama is refusing to play up on that. Offering solutions is not enough these days, despite being the most noble thing to do. The US is and always has been essentially a conservative country and Obama may be too strong a potion for people to swallow. No one can predict anything though, as was totally obvious during the primary season, so don't be seized by what Fox News or other pundits are saying. It could be anyone's election.