Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The US Election

President Barack Obama
So, the most important election in the world is currently underway. Citizens of the United States of America are choosing who will occupy the most influential and powerful office in the world for the next 4 years.

Someone recently asked me, 'why do we pay so much attention to the American elections, and they practically ignore ours?' Because, quite simply, theirs is much more important. POTUS is far more influential and powerful than PMOTUK. We might not have a say in who he (or she) is, but we are certainly influenced by them.

It's been a tight race. Some have called it for Romney. I'd say that's a bit optimistic - whilst, on the balance of policies, I agree with Romney more than I agree with Obama, as this goes to pixel, the latter holds a narrow lead in the key swing states. It's likely to go to Obama.

However, I find some of the coverage of the election a bit nauseating. Especially one such article in the Guardian, which states:

'Racial prejudice, covert or otherwise, also partly explains why a majority of white males will vote against Obama.'

Really? A majority of white males will vote against Obama just because he's black? Now, I have been a critic of how Obama has been treated because of his skin colour. No other President in US history has ever been required to publish their birth certificate to prove that they are 'naturally-born'. However, the astonishing assertion that 'a majority of white males' will vote against Obama simply because he's black is ludicrous. That is implying that the majority of white males cannot make a rational decision based on the fact that, say:
  • Obama's a spendthrift who can't keep Government debt under control, and has had a tendency to play 'financial chicken' with the Republicans and the markets;
  • His priority during a time of profound economic crisis has been forcing through a divisive and expensive healthcare scheme;
  • He has presided over a period of political gridlock, and has comprehensively failed to deliver the 'change' to the Washington establishment that he promised;
  • Many Americans fundamentally disagree with Obama's big-state corporatist model of government, having the limitation of government constitutionally programmed into them.
I, personally, as a white male, don't give a flying fuck what colour someone's skin is. It has about as much relevance as their eye colour, hair colour or whether they wear glasses or not. If I could have voted for Obama in 2008, I would have done, not because of his skin colour, but because of his policies. And now, if I could vote for him, I wouldn't, not because of his skin colour, but because of his record in office. And I suspect that the 'majority of white males' in America may well come to a similar conclusion.

Only the Guardian could imply that entire demographic is being racist. Of course, implying that an entire demographic is guilty of one particular characteristic is stereotyping, and therefore, you know... racist. And of course, black people voting for Obama simply because he's black isn't racist at all, is it?

He's got black skin. I suggest we all get the fuck over it, accept that it does not matter, and concentrate on his policies and record in office.