Saturday, 30 August 2008

"Britons for Barack."

The noughties has been a bad decade for liberals, socialists, and any political left-wingers. We’ve watched as major political parties including the Democrats of the US and New Labour of the UK have gradually shifted further towards the right (with the admirable exception of Ralph Nader). We’ve seen the control of the world’s Western super-power fall into the hands of the Neo-Conservatives after stealing the 2000 election. We’ve watched two extremely right-wing groups, the Neo-Cons and the Islamo-Facists, go to war with one another and drag the whole world down with them. We’ve seen the media lose its objectivity and transform into a sensationalist propaganda machine. Totalitarian measures and authoritarian tactics have taken over political discourse leading major countries further and further from democracy and the distant utopian dream of socialism.

To many liberals Barack Obama represents the great hope for the future. He has marched around the world shouting “Change!” and “Believe!” More importantly he satisfies the criterion of charisma and can deliver rousing speeches which ignite the public’s imagination. All over the US people are perhaps starting to think that change is possible: Barack Obama has come to stand for everything that the liberals have been missing out on for the past eight years. While he may not actually be particularly left-wing, he’s more so than John McCain. And because Ralph Nader is not going to get elected, the world needs Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States.

A lot of people in Britain view this upcoming US election with a level of smug detachment – ‘let the Americans squabble amongst themselves, we don’t live there and we can’t make a difference’. This is true but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take as active an interest as possible. America is, for good or ill, a huge influence on the rest of the world, particular the United Kingdom and other countries who signed up for the Coalition of the Willing. What happens to America eventually happens to us: America’s economy started to go down the tubes, ours followed suit; America went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we marched alongside; America elects a buffoon, so do we. That’s why an Obama victory is so important to the entire world – he represents a chance for the world to heal, diplomatically, financially, and rationally.

Yesterday John McCain announced that his vice-president would be Sarah Palin, a former mayor and present Governor of Alaska. Despite an admirable environmental stance in spite of her global warming scepticism, she is ridiculously inexperienced in terms of politics and is fairly obviously nothing more than a pawn in the Republican Party’s campaign game. McCain was previously running against ‘making history’: Obama would be the first African-American president and McCain would be just another rich white man. Now a vote for McCain is also a vote for US history as Palin could be the first female Vice-President. The Republican running mate also has the advantage of soaking up the embittered Clinton supporters who wanted to see a woman in the White House. Poor Sarah Palin has been selected by the Republicans for no greater reason than having two X chromosomes.

Humanity has an unrelenting capacity towards innate conservatism and irrationality. As such, John McCain will probably be elected. Sarah Palin all but seals the deal for him. He has recognised that this entire campaign has been built on superficialities: Woman vs. Black, Young vs. Old, White vs. Black, and now by giving the sound bite seeking media Woman vs. Black, McCain has been able to give his campaign the superficiality that his possession of a penis and lack of melanin robbed him of. I, and a great deal of liberals, hope against hope that America will elect Barack Obama and the world can begin the slow process of re-embracing some level of logic, reasonableness, and intelligence after the Reign of the Neo-Conservatives.

Please America, don’t give into your fear. Make the calm, detached, rational choice and vote for Obama. Put the lies of the present administration and the fanatic right-wingers behind you. You are still as liberal as you ever were, America; you’ve just become scared. The Republicans feed that fear and manipulate you with it.

As a plea from liberals the world over, please don’t let another Republican inflict war upon the world, ruin the economy, or scare you. Vote for Barack Obama and help heal the world.

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