Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Coveted Pith & Substance Non-Endorsement

In addition to asking some interesting questions in my comment box, Steve Sailer also gave me a link and called me "Obama's most sophisticated defender."

I appreciate it, but I'm not sure I can quite accept. As one of Her Majesty's loyal subjects, it really is no business of mine who the Great Republic chooses as their chief executive. Whether it is McCain or Obama, I'm sure we will continue to do fine. Like most of my countrypersons, I react negatively to the younger Mr. Bush, and will be happy to see him go no matter what, but it really isn't any of my concern what health plan the US federal government enacts or what flavour of Supreme Court justice is appointed.

I do think that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars raise issues of larger significance. And here I think the way Obama thinks will be more helpful than the way McCain thinks. Not because I hope that the Muslim world will react with such gratitude to a President whose middle name is "Hussein" that they will drop all their sectarian and tribalist craziness and become Belgians with loose clothing made of natural fibres. But because Iraq is precisely the sort of problem where victory/defeat is a useless frame and how-do-we-minimize-our-losses-while-letting-everyone-save-face is the way to go.

Perhaps I could also note that we in the Commonwealth are aware that even the blandest of centre-left politicians (and not infrequently the sternest of conservative ones) typically have some radical friends from their twenties. To explain what Gordon Brown and David Miliband were up to when they were young and foolish would require an extremely boring dissertation in micro-left groups with three-letter acronyms. This is not to say that genuinely right-wing people should vote for them, but it is no big deal either.

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