Listened to the results last night

7 Nov

If I was a proud citizen of the USA and I was told that most of the world preferred Obama to Romney I would probably give a snort of derision and vote for Romney. Travelling in the US you can find everything from the frozen wastes to the Everglades, from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains to the coast of California, (Cue Woody Guthrie, ‘This Land is Your Land’). It is no wonder that only a small percentage of Americans travel away from the US. They already have almost everything that they need. This is not timeless, and the world changes. China may soon overtake the US in terms of economic importance. As a country which used to have an Empire and disposed of it without trying to hang on against the will of the peoples, (mostly), we know what it is to have been great and the attitudes that engenders. If you looked at a map of the World before 1946 you would see that a quarter of the surface was controlled by those bits coloured red. These days the small territories directly controlled by Britain can be counted in acres rather than square miles. Apart from some retard Little-Englanders and other nationalist who believe in some romantic ideal which never existed, few people in the UK are under any illusion that we are in any way a world power. The USA will not suffer this fate within the space of half a generation, but decline will happen, (Cue Paul Simon, ‘American Tune’).

There has been a major change in voting patterns in the USA. The minorities came together to return Obama for another term. It was a brilliant example of organisation in getting the vote out. Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities voted very largely in favour of Obama. Previously, a combination of apathy and deliberate disenfranchisement stopped many blacks and Hispanics from voting. Four years ago they found out that with some liberals and working class urban whites they were, together, no longer in a minority but could win an election for a black man. This lesson was not forgotten yesterday.  The Republicans have yet to come to terms with this reality. They see things, literally, in terms of black and white. In truth, the whites are not an homogenous group. (Cue Springsteen, ‘Born in the USA’ with a couple of bars of Cheech Marin’s ‘Born in East LA’). Look in detail and you suddenly see groupings of ‘Irish’, ‘Jewish’, ‘German’, ‘Italian’, etc…… Actually, that makes me laugh. I heard a fourth or fifth generation Irish American declare that he was Irish. No you’re not, you are an American. I’m more Irish than that, and I only claim to be British/English.

More interesting, a large majority of college educated women voted for Obama. That says more than anything else where the problems for the Republicans lie. Unless they can change their appeal they will be doomed to electoral failure. The rabid rants of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk and the dreadfully skewed news coming out of Fox cannot disguise that reality. Right wingers in the USA get all their opinions from such sources and probably don’t socially interact with anyone with different views. There is an astonishing inability among conservatives to empathise with the plight of any other group. Until they can learn to empathise they are doomed to walk in the electoral wilderness. The USA has changed and so has the world. The impression the USA gives in its foreign policy does matter. Obama’s actions in getting sanctions against Iran for its nuclear development have been a success. As the half-American Winston Churchill once said, ‘Jaw, jaw is better than war, war’. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netnnyahu nailed his colours firmly to Romney’s mast. Boy, is that going to back-fire! Watch this space. (Cue Louis Armstrong, ‘What a Wonderful World’)

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