Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for November 4th, 2008

Come on America, Make Us Love You Again!

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 4th November, 2008

  Today American voters have a rendezvous with history, in what is probably the most important — and certainly the most exciting — US presidential election in living memory. The outcome will have a huge impact not just domesticly but right round the world. One thing both mainstream candidates agree about is that it is time for a change, after eight years of the Bush administration. George W’s departure from the White House in January will be greeted with a collective sigh of relief.

I am not one of those who believes that Barack Obama is some kind of new Messiah, but I do think that he can indeed be a transformational president, as many of his American backers, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, have claimed. He can bring new hope to huge swaths of the US population as well as new hope to the world. And if he wins — especially if he wins comfortably — the effect on America’s standing in the world will be enormous. Right round the globe, a majority of people are hoping that US voters will give them reason to respect and cherish the United States once again.

It is a tribute to John McCain’s record that his own standing in the polls is way above that of the White House incumbent. There are many things about his career, both inside and outside politics, which are admirable. But it has been dismaying for many of us who have been following the US campaign closely to see how he has embraced the very forces (Karl Rove & Co) that killed off his attempt at the Republican nomination in 2000. He has even back-tracked on his opposition to the use of torture. His ‘Palin Pick’ left us not just disbelieving, but also alarmed that anyone so ill-prepared and narrow-minded as the Governor of Alaska could conceivably be put within reach of national and international power. Along with many media commentators on this side of the Atlantic, I felt that McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin showed a shocking lack of judgement which would not bode well for a McCain presidency.

Over to you, America. The whole world is watching and willing you to make the right choice.


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