Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day.

Today's is election day in the US and the polls are very hopeful for the Democrats.

I returned my absentee ballot several weeks ago and it won't come as a surprise for the few readers of this blog that I voted for every Democrat on the ballot. I should, therefore, be excited at the prospect of political change in America, as today may be the end of 28 years of Republican domination of Washington. While the Republicans have not had it all their way during this time, most notably between 1992 and 1994 when the Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress, conservatism has been the dominant political narrative in America since the election of Reagan in 1980.

However, a Obama presidency and Democratic control of both chambers of Congress does not necessarily mean an significant ideological change in America. Since Clinton, the centrists have dominated the Democratic party and Noam Chomsky is not far of when he described, in an interview in Der Spiegal, the US political system as "essentially a one-party system'. In spite of McCain's attempts to portray Obama as socialist, the Democrats subscribe to a free market ideology and can at best be described as a 'social-liberal' party. The expected gains for the Democrats today, as the gains in midterm elections of 2006, merely represents, therefore, a tiredness of the Republicans and not a significant shift in ideology of the American electorate.

I do, however, expect a real change on foreign policy, a democratic administration being more willing to engage with the world community through international cooperation and support for international organisations. This will be a real change from the Bush administration's disdain for the international community and hostility to international law.

I will, therefore, celebrate if Obama wins the presidency and Democratic gains in Congress and hope that there will also be a change away for the rabid conservatism that has dominated the American political discourse, towards a social liberalism that embraces concern for the weakest in society.


At 04 November, 2008 21:50, Blogger Charles and Kiersten said...

Good luck!! I'm pretty sure the night is not going to the Republicans. :-)


At 04 November, 2008 21:57, Blogger Charles and Kiersten said...

P.S. Matt says that he is voting for Rush Limbaugh to be King. ;-) No influence from me, I swear. And Anna against all influences, says she is voting for Barack Obama. At which her brother promptly elbows her in the ribs.

At 05 November, 2008 10:15, Blogger karlund said...

Congrats ;-)


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