Tonight, the US has a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of the world.
Well, one could hardly let the US election go by without a mention. Tonight’s the night (at least on French time).
I’ve steered clear on this blog of that silly bitch Sarah Palin, by and large, because to tell the truth, it depresses me to even think that she exists, with her nauseating winking and ‘oh lawdy shucks’ wittering about small-town America. Thank God for Tina Fey, who should be given a medal.
Equally depressing is Republican voters accusing Obama of ‘socialism’, as if any of them knew what socialism even was, or how it differs from Communism. These people are so unbelievably dumb that they shouldn’t be allowed to vote at all. Truth is, a good dose of socialism would benefit most Americans, who don’t even have a proper health service or welfare system – 60 years after these were established in the UK.
The misunderstanding of Obama aside, who is no more a socialist than he is a Muslim, I still hope that he wins, even if – as every US politician – he is way to the right of European sensibilities. Even if he were not backed by the insidious Karl Rove, McCain is too old. And I don’t mean his age in years – I mean his level of fitness and energy, his attitude to technology (doesn’t even ‘do’ email), the way he stumbles and fumbles over his words. One might respect him the way you respect a beloved elderly relative, but you don’t put them in charge of anything important. He is past his sell-by date.
Obama in contrast is still young and energetic, screamingly intelligent, articulate and – one hopes – committed to everything he says he believes in. Personally, I would have preferred to see Hillary win – her kind of experience is valued, not denigrated in Europe – but failing the advent of the first woman president of the US, I will be more than happy to see the first black president instead.
I must admit, it took me a while to notice that Obama was black. I didn’t notice Lewis Hamilton was black either, till someone mentioned it (I’d noticed he was beautiful, of course – I’m not blind). Like what gender someone is, I find skin colour irrelevant, and having lived in an area in London where most people were black, Asian or Oriental, it seems un-noteworthy. My sister, however, is scared to death that someone’s going to kill Obama simply because he’s black, and I hope that she’s not right.
The race issue all seems very strange to a Brit, because although we’re not immune to racism – we have our fair share of green-teethed fuckheads too – we have never had institutionalised racism of the kind that bedevilled America. Whites-only drinking fountains, or whites-only schools, blacks at the back of the bus and that kind of thing. Individuals may be racist, but the state is meant to regard everyone as equal. In fact, the US Army warned its servicemen in the Second World War not to be shocked at the British treating black servicemen as equals. Cringe-making, is it not?
Anyway, that’s it for today’s blog, as I need to get on with work, then the DH and I will be crawling off to bed in the early evening, as the election results won’t start to come in until 11.00pm our time, and won’t finish till 6.00am. Four years ago, we stayed up the whole night, at first in elation and then in increasing levels of despair and anger at the utter stupidity of the US electorate (electing that moron once, we could excuse, as the 2000 election was clearly fraudulent, but the second time, after Iraq, after Guantanamo, there was really no excuse…).
But let’s hope tonight for a landslide, fewer people deprived of their rightful vote, young people who are willing to take part in the democratic process, and that Obama will be president elect before we pass out with exhaustion.