I`m somewhat addicted to the US Presidential race going on these days. McCain seems pretty sure to win on the republican side – and I have to admit, the guy is likable. If I had a vote however, it would go to the Democrats, more specifically to Barak Obama, whom I truly do believe to be the best hope for the country. I`ve already been following the race for many months, and I`ve liked him from the start. It`s still hard to tell who will be the Democratic candidate though. One day Hillary Clinton seems to be in the lead, the next, it`s Barak. A couple more weeks now, and I guess we`ll know.
But think for a moment: What would the main race be like if Obama should win? To me, 2004 was a disgrace. The whole circus had in my opinion, too little focus on the politics and too much on making “the other guy” look bad. It had seemed obvious to me that Bush could not win in 2000, and that if he did, he would be a disaster (I remember wondering how he could ever get as many votes as he did. What was wrong with these American voters?). In 2004 I was not so optimistic. I was never convinced that the somewhat out-of-touch Kerry would be able to kick “Dubya” out, as would probably have been best for the country and the world, but the way Bush won, and some of the tactics used by the supporters of the republicans annoyed me. Specifically, the “Swift boat veterans for truth” group seemed to use plain out lying as an important tactic to make the other candidate look bad, and it is hard to tell what kind of effect this might actually have had on the election.
I never really cared much for John Kerry either though, to be honest – and that brings me to the point: If Barak Obama becomes the Democratic candidate, both Presidential candidates in the general election will actually be – hold your breath – likeble! For once, America gets to choose between to good choices, in stead of having to select the lesser of two evils. How did I reach this conclusion? Well for one, McCain was among the first to criticize mentioned Swift boat veterans in 2004. That does him great credit in my book. Besides, he does seem more honest and dependable than most politicians I know of. As for Obama, the hope for a more civilized kind of politics is a main theme in his message, and the word “likable” seems to be inextricably linked to him these days. I don`t believe Clinton can ever achieve the appearance of sincerity the other two seem to embody. She will always seem to be highly respected for her political savvy, but not entirely trusted, and not like someone you feel like you could as easily befriend (Do you ever get the feeling she would do just about anything at all to win?). I can easily imagine her using tactics that others might consider unfair, unethical, or just below them. (What was that whole crying-scenario about, for example? Somehow I have trouble buying the whole thing. It did give her a nice boost in the polls though. If she looses the election, maybe she can try out as an actress?)
Though I`m sure there will be tough battles in 2008, as in all election years, I believe these might actually be more civilized than in 2004: That there will be more focus on politics, and less, well, trolling and flaming, to use Internet-lingo. For my part, I`m looking forwards to several more exciting months of campaigning and political battles
(and hopefully a brighter future for the world, once the clearly incompetent current incumbent gets kicked out on his clumsy ass! 😉 )