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Tearing up the rulebook on racism

Tearing up the rulebook on racism

Blimey. I really didn’t think America would elect a non-white person as President. I really didn’t think it was possible. The dice was stacked against him. After all:

– It’s a nation that voted twice for that international joke, Dubya. TWICE.
– A generation ago, I don’t think black people were even allowed to sit down in Washington D.C. ?
– There’s a national economic crisis. During a crisis, people’s usual instincts are to protect their own – hell, Britain’s cutting the numbers of immigrants it allows in because of the recession.
– Obama seems clever, intellectual, almost slightly aloof, not someone you could have a beer witha nd talk about the Sonics (or whatever). And when was the last time America elected a clever President?

So gosh darn it, now I can’t blame the lack of success in my life because I is not white. or black. On the other hand, one of my friends – who won’t date outside of her race – still wouldn’t shag Obama. So latent racism is still alive!

The more I read about Obama’s life, the more I’m amazed he got to Harvard, let alone anywhere else. Now he’s the US equivalent of Blair – arrives in office after almost a decade of slowly stagnated rule, with ludicrously high expectations. And it worked for Blair for a while – at least till Iraq happened.

And hey, maybe a re-assessment of America’s place in the world and a return to less consumer-ist times would mean things like the technically perfect, editorially disastrous and utterly pointless CNN hologram wouldn’t happen…

I almost want to say poor McCain. For a Republican candidate, he wasn’t that bad – he could have been a whole lot worse. But it sounds like the party lobby just strangled his maverickness at birth.

One great idea from the American presidental election

One great idea from the American presidental election

Obama and McCain in a US Presidential candidate funny face-off at the Alfred E Smith memorial dinner:

Admittedly, they probably had the best gag-meisters in the world working on their respective routines, but how did we let America steal the comedy crown? First Friends and now this. (I refuse to acknowledge The Office – it is the demon child of British Comedy which will one day be rightfully shunned by its peer group) I can’t help feeling a Brown vs Cameron comedy face-off would be incredibly dull, especially if this constitutes a Brown joke.

American mass debating…

American mass debating…

So I settled down to watch the American Presidential debating thing last night, and was wondering how long it would take for the first insult attempt to waft through the airwaves. It didn’t take long – McCain was barely out of the gate before the first volley appeared. They really ought to instigate a rule that you cannot bash the other candidate’s background or personality.

The British political parties keep resisting the idea of “American-style” TV debates, although I’m not too sure why. We’ve pretty much embraced the other parts of American political campaigning – the mass rally, snide political advertising… although from my memory of the last election, British political (non-TV ads) keep aimlessly bashing the other party. At least the American political TV ads over here give you reasons not to vote for Obama/McCain/section 6.

The opinion polls seem to show a rise in Obama’s standing – although naturally I can’t trust opinion polls. Especially after the British elections of 1992 which consistently reported people saying they were going to vote Labour, but they voted Tory in the end. Essentially, people were too ashamed of wanting to vote for the Tory party that promised tax cuts at the expense of the economy. I can’t help feeling in a gut instinct way that this is being mirrored in the opinion polls in the US – especially when the only election graffiti I’ve seen was in a toilet at Detroit airport with a crude rude caricature of Obama.

And was it just me, or did McCain walk around as if he was a puppet? Very stiff, Frankenstein-like. And the only person he tried to ‘physically connect’ to was a soldier. Does he do that to every soldier he meets? It makes it seem like joining the military is the biggest country golf club in the world. (Then again, Obama didn’t touch anyone at all if memory serves)

The British elections are going to be so tediously dull. If only because for Labour to win would take a miracle at this point, I fear.

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