An American reader recently seemed a little upset at the idea that Europeans would even comment on US politics, which is understandable. He wasn’t a European and isn’t used to the idea of people in one country being interested in the politics of another, so if that person is upset by this, my apologies. Nevertheless, the coming 2012 US presidential election is shaping up to be a very interesting contest, but for the wrong reasons.
I love America. I like the people, I holiday there. But I’m not sure I would want to live in a country where Governor Perry, Governor Palin or Representative Bachmann actually attempted to do the things they talk about on the campaign. This is the thing about this election. No matter who wins, whether the GOP candidate or President Obama, half the country will feel almost like a cultural occupation has been imposed upon them by the other half.
At least, reading the US media, that is what you would think. Having said that though, you have to ask, does US politics actually represent where most Americans actually live politically. For example, what candidate do economically left wing social conservatives vote for? What about people who support low taxes and same sex marriage? Or people who oppose the death penalty but support the right to bear arms? It seems to me as an outsider that the two party system, hijacked by its extremes, is not serving the great mass of Americans, because there are more than two political ideas in America. I even suspect that, with the exception of President Clinton, there’s not one former US president going back to Nixon who could win his former party’s nomination now, based on their previous records: Nixon (too liberal), Ford (too liberal), Carter (too conservative), Reagan (too liberal) George H W Bush (too liberal). Yet all would be easily selected as candidates for a centrist (by today’s standards) Moderate party. Go figure.