Tuesday, 2 November 2004

American Election

Today is, as the front page of The Independent puts it, 'A day that will decide the fate of the world'. On the one hand we have a president who, if you put him in charge of, say, Russia instead of the US, would make a perfect Bond villain. Kerry isn't that great either if you want to be realistic - he still sticks to the American principles of the rich getting richer and the poor being denied healthcare etc. He is slightly less of a zealot when it comes to this though, and he appears to at least have a clue when it comes to foreign policy, so when it comes down to it he is the obvious choice.

Just how the whole election seems to be so close is something that wouldn't be believed if it wasn't actually happening. Under Bush the US has done from a massive trade surplus to an unsustainable deficit, and a general feeling of goodwill from the rest of the world that has turned to contempt, and sometimes hatred. At the same time he has made a select few Americans richer, at no benefit to majority. Just why do Americans seem to want to vote for him? The man is a fool, and the fact that this is clear to everyone apart from the people voting has to make them wonder if they're being fully informed by their media.

What it comes down to is the fact that a lot of Americans don't like to question that fact that they are 'right'. Consider the fact that even publishing a book from certain countries is illegal in the US (even if it was won top prizes). If some book was banned in Afghanistan by the Taleban you can bet that the US would be the first to complain. The same is true of their last election, where the result was decided by their 'supreme court' by judges strictly to their party lines. This was outrageous, yet somehow it stood. How can a country where the whole electoral system is so clearly broken and corrupt lecture other countries on what they should do?

I won't be surprised if Bush wins. You know what though? Maybe it's for the best. If Kerry wins he will no-doubt be blamed for the aftermath of Bush's actions. If Bush wins then he will pay the price for the last four years. Not only that, but the US will be so financially weakened and lose so much standing in the world that it might lose its superpower status. This might well be for the good of the world. It is only through co-operation that the world can move forward. The days of unilateralism are over. We must go forward with consensus or possibly face a period of fear, war and terror that we can't imagine.

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