Saturday, 27 August 2011

Who do you vote for if you're American?

You voted for Obama maybe, cause you hoped, you wanted change; but he's been a "disappointment"; you want him to be, well, just "a little bit stronger".  But who's on the other side?  Perry believes the earth was created 4000-odd years ago (I don't know the exact date; but does it matter??).  And Mormon beliefs of Huntsman and the Mittney are equally bizarre.  How could you vote for president someone who accepts such zany, delusional and quite clearly historically wrong, beliefs?
For me as a member of the counter-jihad set, the biggest disappointment of Obama was his attitude to Islam.  I'd thought before he was elected that he was smart and would have figured out Islam, the aspects of it that are a threat to tolerant western ideals (and those threats are clear and manifold); that the only reason he didn't talk about it in the campaign was that he didn't need to, so why trespass on an area that could be filled with briars and nettles.  Better keep the powder dry (to mix the metaphors).
But it turns out that he didn't know anything about Islam.  The fact that he'd spent some time as a Muslim in his youth is irrelevant.  I was Confirmed in the Church of England when I was ten.  Doesn't mean I knew anything about it.  I've been an atheist since, and only in adult atheism do I feel I know anything about Christianity.  For Obama, it was clear that what he learnt in adulthood was nothing about Islam, and something about Christianity: enough, in any case, to seem a credible simulacrum of a Christian, something he knew he had to be to achieve his aim of president-hood.
Any understanding that he had about Islam was of the common-garden "common wisdom" variety; the "religion of peace" variety; the "it contributed to science in its golden age" variety; the "in Andalusia Islam was tolerant of Jews and Christians" variety;  and all that sort of bunkum.  Except that he didn't -- still doesn't -- see it as bunkum, for he was too busy on other matters;  too busy being a politician, aiming for the White House.
So while what he's said and done on Islam is very Islam-friendly, it's not because he's a Muslim, but because he believes the common wisdom (aka the common ignorance).  He's not a Muslim, in other words, he just acts like one.  Or, he's not a Muslim, he just gives Islam the free pass, the lack of inspection and investigation and criticism that the left seems to think it deserves.
The other issue that riles is the widening income and wealth gap in the US.  This becomes an issue of national security when it widens, for that causes social problems, or worse.  A secure commonwealth is one in which all have some stake in the state, some stake in its wealth, in which fairness is a strong driving force (in Australia we call it the "fair go" and it's a strong part of the culture and what makes Australia great).  All that has eroded, in the US, in the last 30 years or so.  The figures are clear, and for Republicans simply to ignore them is abhorrent.
Says Timothy Egan:
He should make Republicans defend the politics of grotesque economic inequality.
But can he?  Will he?  It sure doesn't look like he will.  He has, says Egan, "... no skip in his step, no lift in his voice." He's a lame duck before even the duck season is near.
And if you can't vote for him -- One, because his view of Islam is too rosy hewed and Two, because he's doing nothing to rectify major wealth dislocations -- who can you vote for?  A Perry who doesn't believe in evolution?  Who wants to remove rights from gays and pregnant women? Who wants to abolish income tax?  Make abortion illegal? (see his book).
It's a toughie...  Glad I'm not American in 2012 having to make that choice, a non-choice.