Friday, 24 October 2008

"Remember, remember the 4th of November..."

It is almost time for the US Presidential Election and, if polls are any indication, it looks like nothing can stop Barack Obama’s relentless march to glory. I can almost taste the hope from this side of the Atlantic. But it’s worth remembering that, as Obama himself joked at the Alfred E. Smith dinner, he was not born in a stable. He will not be the Messiah, he is not the liberal dream-president, and he is far to the right of the political spectrum.

Throughout this election season it has become clear how centralised the Republican and Democratic parties have become. Neither candidate has mentioned decreasing the US military budget; a staggering fact since the military-industrial complex consumed $600 billion American taxpayer money last year. It garnered not one mention in any of the debates. Neither candidate has talked about nationalising the healthcare system – in fact, the entire issue has been off the political agenda since the early days of President Clinton. The healthcare system in America needs complete reform not Obama’s extension of federal healthcare (and certainly not McCain’s ‘give-everyone-$5000-and-hope-they-spend-it-on-healthcare’ plan). The issue has never been raised. Neither candidate has mentioned the outrageous melding of church and state which has essentially turned the US into a theocracy over the past decade. As Colin Powell asked, why would a Muslim candidate be a bad thing? Both candidates are content to wield the name of God as a tool to win over the voters.

The candidates are very close to one another politically, way too close to give the American public any sort of choice over what will happen to their country. The two-party system is ruining America as the only real politicians for change are marginalised and forced to run as independent candidates. Ralph Nader has been consistently liberal throughout his career: he has raised the issues above, he has questioned what the Bush administration has been doing for eight years. He has called for the perfectly just impeachment of George W. Bush. He is the candidate that represents the true left-wing and yet Obama is the one heralded as the liberal hope for the future. According to the Political Compass as seen above, Nader is closest to Ghandi whereas Obama is in the same political square as Thatcher and Hitler.

Ralph Nader would get my vote were I an American but I don’t think any of his supporters want to see him blamed for pushing the Republicans into power like he was after the 2000 election. So, as Noam Chomsky recently said, there’s no harm in choosing the lesser of two evils: that is most definitely Obama. I don’t think there’s any way that the American public can screw things up this time and Obama will be good for the country and the world.

America: please vote for Barack Obama and don’t let the morally bankrupt septuagenarian and his book-banning, moose-hunting, expensive-clothes-wearing, ridiculously-poorly-educated, hockey-mom running mate anywhere near the White House.

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