Apparently it’s the US electionNovember 3, 2008
It’s the US election tomorrow and I suppose I should say something about it, since I keep getting emailed by The New York times, desperate for my opinion (that’s a joke. No-one cares about my opinion but you’re getting it anyway).
I’m mildly in favour of Barack Obama, but don’t think he’s The Messiah and I think that even if McCain won it wouldn’t be terrible as he’s better than Bush (although Palin is a fucking disaster waiting to happen). All the polls say that Obama is a shoe-in, but polls don’t count for shit, so I wouldn’t be surprised if McCain won.
My main thoughts on the election are this: It’s mostly none of my business. Yes, that’s right. Because I’m not a citizen of the US. Basically, I’d like to remind all the earnest bloggers and writers of the UK that they don’t actually get a vote, and that even the most inbred Alabama hick has more right to vote than the most pious Guardian-reading Hampstead do-gooder, choking on his Chai Latte as he lambasts McCain. Seriously, from the coverage over here, you’d think that the election was being fought not in the 50 states of the US, but somewhere in Farringdon. I’m not saying that the US election isn’t important, or that there should be less coverage, but I think that we really should remember that ultimately, it’s not our election.
When the next UK general election comes around, I don’t want earnest Americans publishing articles every ten seconds about how David Cameron represents change, or how if we don’t vote for Gordon Brown we’re racist. I don’t want leading US broadcasters flown over to London so they can camp outside Downing Street for weeks on end, speculating about David Cameron’s wife’s haircut. Because it would be none of their business.
I think the most notable aspect of the election so far has been the sheer amount of shit broadcast about it. Even now, my girlfriend is watching BBC News in the background and someone in a suit is talking absolute shit to the nation. The most insane shit has mostly come from the liberal press, who talk of McCain “stealing the election” (it’s not theft. It’s democracy. It means that the US President is voted for by the people of America, not by a group of friends in Notting Hill). Or the absolute hogwash that if McCain gets voted in, it means that America is racist. No. It doesn’t. It simply means that more people voted for McCain. I think it’s pretty low of anyone in Europe to talk about Americans as racist – at least they’ve managed a black candidate, which is more than I can remember Europe doing. When we have a black candidate for Prime Minister we can start calling other countries racist.
I guess it would be good if Obama won. Not because he’s going to be so wonderful for America, but because it would be a nice feelgood story. After slavery, segregation and decades of institutionalised racism, it would be pleasing to see a black President, but I don’t imagine he’d actually be that different from the white Presidents that the US has had all these centuries. He’s not going to be choosing George Clinton as Secretary of State. Still, as I said, it’s not really my business.
The best election coverage by a country mile has been on The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/content/whitehousewar/campaignnews
In particular, this piece: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/report_60_million_people_youd which pretty much sums up America, as far as I can see.