Friday, 7 November 2008

Some Thoughts on the US Election

Thought I ought to post something here, given that I studied American Studies at University and it was the politics that most interested me.

It seems to me that Barack Obama's victory in the Presidential election was a classic example of Populism. In other words drawing together many different interests for a common goal. It probably helped him that the economic woes of the past few months affected so many people, leading to a greater desire for change.

However I'm somewhat of the opinion that John McCain was a dead duck from the beginning. There was too much anger towards Bush and the Republicans for him to fight against. I actually think McCain is a decent man, who took defeat gracefully and seems keen to work towards a better future for his nation regardless of who is leading it.

In saying that though some of the opinions of the American right did him no favours. I had one friend in California who kept posting anti-Obama links from Fox News on Facebook at every opportunity. It smacked of grasping at straws, just because Obama is a Democrat. Honestly, I can't understand seemingly smart people being so blindly partisan.

All the talk of change does make me laugh a bit. At the moment Obama clearly has a mandate to work with, and after his inauguration will be his best opportunity to push forward with his own legislation. After that if mid-terms don't go his way it gets harder, and if he wins a second term he is likely to finish it with just about no power at all. By that point the title of "Most Powerful Man In The World" is very misleading.