Friday, October 31, 2008

Dear McPalin: Boo! The Economist endorses Obama

The center-right leaning British publication, the Economist, has come out for Obama, and done so in what I think is a, quite frankly brilliant way. Three things stand out for me about this endorsement that make it more striking than any of the others I have come across. Heres why:

1) The Economist has some of the smartest and best researched material political material on the international circuit. It challenges the average reader and forces he or she to elevate their game when consuming their writing (much like this site!). They don't dumb down to reach a broader audience. Instead they choose to reach out to intellectuals and aspirants of intellectuality throughout the world.

In order to do so they must understand the world or they will have no readers. So this endorsement further spotlights a world behind Obama. The Economist, as a whole, understand the geo-political temperatures better than any other publication I have come across-- be it academic or commercial.

2) A center-right publication is classic McTurd territory, and this just deepens the sketch of the Arizona Senator as a man that has at the very least lost his political soul, if not his moral compass.

3) The way they framed their endorsement was powerful and forward thinking. They ask us to examine what the next 8 years might be like, as opposed to merely (and appropriately) mocking the eight that we are about to conclude. Here is an excerpt:

The immediate focus, which has dominated the campaign, looks daunting enough: repairing America’s economy and its international reputation. The financial crisis is far from finished. The United States is at the start of a painful recession. Some form of further fiscal stimulus is needed, though estimates of the budget deficit next year already spiral above $1 trillion. Some 50m Americans have negligible health-care cover. Abroad, even though troops are dying in two countries, the cack-handed way in which George Bush has prosecuted his war on terror has left America less feared by its enemies and less admired by its friends than it once was.

Yet there are also longer-term challenges, worth stressing if only because they have been so ignored on the campaign. Jump forward to 2017, when the next president will hope to relinquish office. A combination of demography and the rising costs of America’s huge entitlement programmes—Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—will be starting to bankrupt the country. Abroad a greater task is already evident: welding the new emerging powers to the West. That is not just a matter of handling the rise of India and China, drawing them into global efforts, such as curbs on climate change; it means reselling economic and political freedom to a world that too quickly associates American capitalism with Lehman Brothers and American justice with Guantánamo Bay. This will take patience, fortitude, salesmanship and strategy.

At the beginning of this election year, there were strong arguments against putting another Republican in the White House. A spell in opposition seemed apt punishment for the incompetence, cronyism and extremism of the Bush presidency. Conservative America also needs to recover its vim. Somehow Ronald Reagan’s party of western individualism and limited government has ended up not just increasing the size of the state but turning it into a tool of southern-fried moralism.

The selection of Mr McCain as the Republicans’ candidate was a powerful reason to reconsider. Mr McCain has his faults: he is an instinctive politician, quick to judge and with a sharp temper. And his age has long been a concern (how many global companies in distress would bring in a new 72-year-old boss?). Yet he has bravely taken unpopular positions—for free trade, immigration reform, the surge in Iraq, tackling climate change and campaign-finance reform. A western Republican in the Reagan mould, he has a long record of working with both Democrats and America’s allies.

If only the real John McCain had been running

That, however, was Senator McCain; the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as “agents of intolerance” now embraces theocratic culture warriors. The campaigner against ethanol subsidies (who had a better record on global warming than most Democrats) came out in favour of a petrol-tax holiday. It has not all disappeared: his support for free trade has never wavered. Yet rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right.

(For more click here)

1 comment:

Randal Graves said...

Is there some law that every publication not named The Nation or Mother Jones has to tout Reagan as some bipartisan superhero?

Fuck Reagan, fucking fuck that fucking enabler of murderers, thieves and warped free marketers sucking at his astrological teat.

We could begin to worry less about our huge entitlement programs if we did something about our extra huge military budget, for starters.