: : : : : : : : : :
It has been noted recently that, for a foreigner, I was pretty much fired up and passionate about the American Presidential elections. I asked myself, why do I care that much? And the answer on that is fairly easy. When you are restricted from really participating, like voting or actually donating to , or working for a campaign, you have to rely on others to do what you consider would be the right thing. I don’t like that, like I do not like riding shotgun in a car or sitting in an airplane at the mercy of the driver’s or pilot’s competence. And I am not alone. Out there in European newspapers, there are people who say it so much better than I can.
Like George Monbiot in yesterday’s Guardian. He gives voice to one of the specifics in American politics that, like him, I cannot get my head around:
How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind’s closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama was a Muslim and a terrorist? (read more)
Will it be that way next Tuesday? Will the anti-intellectuals prevail once again? Sorry, but to be blunt: A borderline senile and a borderline imbecile joining forces to run the most powerful nation there is, has me in panic mode.
Not only me. There is Mark Steel over at The Independent who has the jitters as well:
McCain could announce he’d bomb Argentina for being too near the start of the alphabet, flash at Oprah Winfrey shouting “Hey Joe the plumber, there’s ONE waterworks that doesn’t need fixing” during the national anthem, reveal he was chairman of a company that’s been selling teddy bears that turn out to be stuffed with petrol-soaked semtex, and admit he didn’t go to Vietnam at all but spent the whole war in the bath. And the following day we’d hear that a string of gaffes had caused Obama’s lead to climb to SIX per cent. (read more)
He has a point hasn’t he? I’m visiting Real Clear Politics like fifty times a day. I’m preferring that Republican leaning site just because I do not want to get my hopes up too high.
On the other hand Daniel Finkelstein – The Times – has everything wrapped up and tells Republicans the stark truth about their impending unimportance. He compares November 5, 2008 with the day after Tony Blair’s landslide victory in 1997:
There was a feeling of euphoria in Britain that morning, a feeling of freshness and change. Even people who hadn’t voted for Blair were caught up in it. Many of them wished that they had, and his poll rating soared. Much of the good feeling about new Labour was generated in the months after their landslide, oddly, rather than in the months before it.(read more)
This makes me feel slightly better. After all, the conservatives’ predictions have been more right all those years than mine. My wishes for a President Gore and then a President Kerry haven’t been granted. To be honest, it has never been good news for a candidate, if I supported the guy. Mine tended to lose.
On to the Economist, they are really good at analysis, every time. They say McCain’s campaign was looking doomed.
JOHN MCCAIN has survived against long odds before. But, despite a stubborn televised interview on Sunday October 26th, in which he touted a poll showing him just a few points behind Barack Obama in the race for the White House, soon he may have to tape up his windows to keep out bad news. Pollster.com, a website that aggregates poll results, suggests that the Republican is now behind Mr Obama by an average of just over seven percentage points. Other pollsters give Mr Obama a slightly smaller lead. Intrade, a betting website, indicates that those risking money on the election result believe that the Democrat has nearly a 90% chance of victory next week. (read more)
But, but have they ever heard of rigged elections? No, this is not comforting at all. And then, there are the Chinese zodiac signs.
Maybe most impressing is Simon Heffer in The Telegraph. He grudgingly and moodily writes about the time when Obama will be President. He doesn’t like it, but then – it will most probably happen.
One can find two kinds of voters in this great city in the week before the presidential election; those Democrats who can see no possibility of defeat for Barack Obama next Tuesday, and those who wake with a jolt at 4am imagining he has lost, and feeling in their bowels the fear that something might happen in the next few days to stop the saviour of the United States from fulfilling his mission. I have yet to find a Republican, despite this being the city that returned Rudy Giuliani twice as mayor. But then it is hard to find anyone in the city that gave Hillary Clinton a big victory in February in the New York state primary who will now not admit to being a dyed-in-the-wool Obamamaniac. The fat lady has yet to sing, but, as far as New Yorkers are concerned, the show is over already. (read more)
I am still as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers, but I am confident I am not alone in this. There is a Global Electoral College in the Economist and as far as I can see, my anxiety is shared by many.