I have been meaning to comment on the Presidential contest in the USA, particularly on Barak Obama. I haven't done so, so far, for two reasons; firstly I keep getting distracted by events and issues elsewhere; and secondly I can't really find much to say about Barak except I hope he wins. I'd have liked to comment on his policies, but I don't know what they are. He does represent hope against the darkness of another Republican presidency. But that's about it - as far as I know.
So what about the opposition? McCain was on the left of the Republican Party and surely it would have been better if he had beaten Bush to the nomination eight years ago. But now he is in the serious business of getting elected he has, inevitably, been moving ever rightwards since his campaign started. He one described the religious right in the US as 'agents of intolerance' but that sort of rhetoric has long been dropped.
Now he comes up with his trump card - Sarah Palin. Why is she so useful? Well obviously she will attract support from the religious right who are suspicious of McCain. But most importantly she will help to polarise the election and deflect the debate from things that matter.
Since the late sixties Capitalists have been successfully dividing America along 'lifestyle' lines. Jonathan Freedland recently called it the 'Culture Wars' in the Guardian. It goes like this - you kick up an almighty big fuss about things which divide and distract the nation from the important issues of the day. In America the Capitalist controlled media makes a big deal out of abortion, gay marriage, and 'family values'. Palin's role is to polarise the debate, and deflect it away from the really important issues such as Iraq, the new cold war, controlling Wall Street, taxing the rich, climate change, healthcare and employment.
The more time the electorate spend squabbling about abortion, gay marriage, and family values, the less time they'll spend on the big issues, and that plays right into the hands of the Capitalists. It'll be interesting to see how Obama deals with this. He has done fairly well so far but not well enough. To win, he has to bring the big issues back centre stage - in spite of the media. If he can't do that he may well fail.
So how did we get the title of this blog? Well I can't think of anything that Sarah Palin and I could agree on; She is a Christian - I am an Atheist; She is against abortion - I am pro-choice; She is against gay marriage - I am for it; She likes guns - I don't; She likes to kill animals - I don't; She likes to promote ignorance in the form of creationism - I'm a biologist and a qualified teacher and I know that creationism is not science, its a flat earth belief; She likes war in Iraq - and elsewhere - I don't; And finally She is stupid enough to support a political party which defecates on her class - I'm not.
So what do I like about her? - what I like about her is the fact she is prepared to stand up on her hind legs and say what she believes in. And I've had a bellyful of politicians on the left who haven't got the guts to stand up and say what they believe in, or perhaps haven't even got the guts to believe in it anymore.