by John Hawkins | September 10, 2008 9:01 am
Over at the British Guardian, liberal Jonathan Freedland has written a column telling Americans how they better vote. A large portion of the column is dedicated to peddling already disproved stories about Sarah Palin, but then he moves on to this,
But what of the rest of the world? This is the reaction I fear most. For Obama has stirred an excitement around the globe unmatched by any American politician in living memory. Polling in Germany, France, Britain and Russia shows that Obama would win by whopping majorities, with the pattern repeated in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. If November 4 were a global ballot, Obama would win it handsomely. If the free world could choose its leader, it would be Barack Obama.
The crowd of 200,000 that rallied to hear him in Berlin in July did so not only because of his charisma, but also because they know he, like the majority of the world’s population, opposed the Iraq war. McCain supported it, peddling the lie that Saddam was linked to 9/11. Non-Americans sense that Obama will not ride roughshod over the international system but will treat alliances and global institutions seriously: McCain wants to bypass the United Nations in favour of a US-friendly League of Democracies. McCain might talk a good game on climate change, but a repeated floor chant at the Republican convention was “Drill, baby, drill!”, as if the solution to global warming were not a radical rethink of the US’s entire energy system but more offshore oil rigs.
If Americans choose McCain, they will be turning their back on the rest of the world, choosing to show us four more years of the Bush-Cheney finger. And I predict a deeply unpleasant shift.
Until now, anti-Americanism has been exaggerated and much misunderstood: outside a leftist hardcore, it has mostly been anti-Bushism, opposition to this specific administration. But if McCain wins in November, that might well change. Suddenly Europeans and others will conclude that their dispute is with not only one ruling clique, but Americans themselves. For it will have been the American people, not the politicians, who will have passed up a once-in-a-generation chance for a fresh start – a fresh start the world is yearning for.
And the manner of that decision will matter, too. If it is deemed to have been about race – that Obama was rejected because of his colour – the world’s verdict will be harsh. In that circumstance, Slate’s Jacob Weisberg wrote recently, international opinion would conclude that “the United States had its day, but in the end couldn’t put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race”.
Even if it’s not ethnic prejudice, but some other aspect of the culture wars, that proves decisive, the point still holds. For America to make a decision as grave as this one – while the planet boils and with the US fighting two wars – on the trivial basis that a hockey mom is likable and seems down to earth, would be to convey a lack of seriousness, a fleeing from reality, that does indeed suggest a nation in, to quote Weisberg, “historical decline”. Let’s not forget, McCain’s campaign manager boasts that this election is “not about the issues.”
Of course I know that even to mention Obama’s support around the world is to hurt him. Incredibly, that large Berlin crowd damaged Obama at home, branding him the “candidate of Europe” and making him seem less of a patriotic American. But what does that say about today’s America, that the world’s esteem is now unwanted? If Americans reject Obama, they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us – and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.
Here’s another message I want to send in the “clearest possible” fashion to the foreigners who want to pick our President: you can take your opinions about who our President will be, turn them sideways and shove them straight up your candy *sses.
We used to have Europeans telling us what to do in this country. That ended more than 200 years ago when we kicked them off the continent and yes, having Europe supporting Obama is a negative for him.
Over the last few years, all we’ve heard about is how the socialistic weenies in Europe don’t like America, don’t like the way we do things, don’t want to help us, aren’t grateful for the all the times we’ve saved them from their own folly — and now, all those same people love Obama?
What should that tell Americans about Obama?
When you have a Palestinian who supports terrorism, hates America, and loves Obama or a socialistic, snobby, anti-American cretin like the guy who wrote this column and he loves Obama — isn’t that a damning indictment of Obama? Isn’t their fondest wish for our country to see us weakened and brought low — and they strongly support Obama. What does that tell you about what they think Obama will do as President?
Update #1: From RWN reader, K. William Young,
Correction about kicking the British off the continent
We didn’t, sadly. They didn’t let Candians amend their constitution on their own until 1982.
Good point. The Brits settled in up in Soviet Canuckistan for a long time. So, we didn’t really kick all the Europeans off the continent. I stand corrected.
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