Things Can Only Get Better (?)

Well there's 2 days to go, and I know that thousands, if not millions of people out there have been waiting for me to virtually express my opinion on the US electoral process... But I thought it unfair for a person in another jurisdiction to have unfair influence in the electoral process.

But then again... whatever happens on Tuesday is going to radically affect the whole world and most of us don't get a vote... Mind you given some of the voting registration scandals in the US that is true of many citizens there too... But selfishly most of what I will say is based upon an international perspective (let the citizens of the US look after their own backs!)

In the run up to the election most of my thinking was of the "Things can only get better"-type. 8 years of world government by the Shrub and his cabal of Big-Oil Representatives and Neo-Cons, has made the world an infinitely more dangerous place, largely due to their unwillingness to use diplomacy where a Cruise missile would suffice. They have acted as playground bullies, with the UK acting as the annoying little crawler who always follows around in such a bully's shadow. I still find it unbelievable that the US administration could have alienated the huge groundswell of support for them the world over that was theirs in the wake of 9/11. But they managed it. From victim to villain in a matter of a year. But isn't that often the back-story of bullies.

Anyway, my thought was, whoever is elected, no-one could be worse. But there was always the cost of the war to factor in, and the difficulty of disengaging without leaving an even worse problem... then the credit crunch hit, thanks to the Bush administration's mates in the banks and stock markets. So a combination of Bush's foreign and economic policies means that whoever is in power, their administration is going to be shaped by their illustrious predecessor's legacy. Thanks George...

So I'm not so sure that things can only get better... they may get a lot worse first! However, one would hope that whoever gets in would have a more mature relation to international relations. Obama has always been vocal in his opposition to the war in Iraq, and historically, although McCain supported it, he has previously advocated a much more multi-lateral approach to international relations. Yes, he may have sideled up to the Bush administration in the closing stages of the primary to get him the ultimate blessing of the Republican elite, but that's politics. He was sufficiently different from the current bunch to make me feel that even if Obama didn't get in there could be significant change under McCain (although his more recent comments on the soundness of the economy made me question that somewhat).

You see, Obama speaks more of my type of political language. Focussed on the poorest in society... Looking for social justice... Seeing morality as more than just applying to abortion and gay marriage... Seeing the right to life not just as applying to the unborn, but to the whole of life and the whole of society... indeed the world.

However, those of us who lived through the false dawn of New Labour and Blairite spin in the UK, know that words are fine, but they need to be translated into action. It was at the final pre-election rally in 1997 that Labour played the D:Ream track "Things can only get better." And in the ensuing 11 years many things have... But the shadow of Iraq looms large over us.

I do hope that Obama get elected. But I equally hope his promise of change is not just Blairite spin.

And that is where I stood on the issues. Pro-Obama, but not suicidal if McCain got in.

Until Palin.

Picked to shore up the conservative Republican vote and appeal to Moms and Evangelical Christians, her nomination gave McCain's campaign an initial bump. I do know Christians who decided to vote for the ticket because of her inclusion. Others continue to be drawn into the McCain camp by some of the scurrilous statements being by made by right wing Christians such as James Dobson about their brother in Christ, Barack Obama.

But Palin's performance in unscripted settings, be they interviews or press-conferences began to worry some, and she is now seen as a net vote loser... I hope to God that is true. I hope the American people have more sense than to put a septuagenarian in the Whitehouse, with Sarah Palin the proverbial "one heartbeat away" from the Oval Office. Her inexperience, her narrow political, economic, international and religious perspective scares me to death! Her willingness to buy-in to the racial and religious stereo-typing, and downright lies that have been told about Barack Obama, is an insult to the office she is running for. The sad thing is that while McCain himself has not stooped to such tactics, and indeed has distanced himself from them on a number of occasions now, he has not publicly corrected his running mate, and could be seen as trying to profit from her pandering to the lowest common denominator.

I've enjoyed a lot of the anti-Palin stuff floating around the internet and on Saturday Night Live... But I'm not posting it here... Because in many ways that is doing to her what she and her like, without a sense of humour, have been seeking to do to Obama. You want to see it, Google it yourself. She is my sister in Christ. And I'm not going to add to the public mockery. But I'm equally not going to advocate voting for her. Far from it.

So come on America - the world needs you to vote for Obama... Only then might things (possibly) get better...


gadgetguy said…
I thank God that you are not allowed to vote.
I'm sure you will use your own vote wisely! and may God bless America... and the rest of us, whoever gets in!

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