Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The fate of Western civilization relies on this?

There was a time when the quadrennial clusterfuck that is the US presidential election would have interested me. As a committed world citizen, albeit of the Marxist variety, what happened on election night across the Atlantic did seem to be of some significance, even if, in reality, it boiled down to a choice between two fatal diseases: one that killed you in a week, the other in a fortnight.

However, since that unfortunate business with the chavs, the chards, the chads, or what ever it was they called them down in Florida, I have simply given up. The American people, whom I love as one would a sibling, (albeit a slightly edgy one with a penchant for nunchucks and hand-guns) just sat back and allowed a coup to occur and did feck all about it. I was disappointed in them to say the least.

See, unlike most of the Irish people that I know, I actually love America and its people. I love their optimism, enthusiasm, their boundless faith in the idea, if not the practice, of democracy. Even speaking as a Marxist, should the revolution ever happen, the document I would use to frame my post-revolutionary, socialist utopia would be the American constitution and the Bill of Rights. But the last time around when they allowed their democracy to be stolen from them without the merest protest I began to have me doubts.

Since then, I couldn't care less about who they elect because despite all the fuss it really doesn't make a difference. Not just to me as a resident of this small fucked-up outpost at the arse-end of Western Europe that is Ireland but just generally. Should Obama win, he's not going to do anything to rock the boat of US corporate capitalism, like introduce a decent health or education system. Unless he's been lying through his teeth, the black communities aren't going to see any change in their lot any time soon. And despite what they said on RTE tonight, Obama probably does know who and where we are and could care less.

I love you America, but it strikes me you're like lions led by donkeys and you're so seduced by the notion of your own democracy that you can't be bothered to defend it or even look at how it's used against you.

As the old Revolutionary Communist Party slogan said 'If voting could change anything, it would be made illegal'. Nowhere is this truer than the USA tonight. Whoever wins.


Salfordles said...

All this talk of emancipation, Liam, let's not forget that the real democratic deficit is the fact that all the US presidents have been men. Do you think Obama will change that? Not a chance. They're already punting Palin for 2012; see what I mean? As a father of two brilliant girls and a grandfather of one, it makes me sick.

Liam G said...

Les, congratulations on grandfatherhood! I think the deficit isn't a gender one sadly. It's in the idea that changing the type of person who controls the light-switch will make any difference to the wiring of the house:-)

Salfordles said...

But women aren't a 'type of person'. They are the check and balance on the human race; something the founding fathers failed to take account of when drafting the constitution. Woman also make up about half the US population; a higher percentage than any ethnic minority. There would have been more reason to celibrate had Hilary Clinton been chosen.

Liam G said...

While I can see what you mean, I think the empirical evidence runs against you. Women in power in capitalist societies aren't notable for doing things any differently: Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto, I if Indira Ghandhi, Angela Merkel, Condaleeza Rice etc not forgetting milk-snatcher Margaret Thatcher. Even Hilary C herself doesn't have the greatest radical record if Michael Moore is to be believed. Biology ain't destiny, especially when it comes to politics and power