I’ve been trying not to chuckle at some of the stuff I’ve overheard in the past few days because, after all, I didn’t want Bush to win the election and I was disappointed Kerry failed.
I really liked the idea of the US and UK both being governed by centre-left leaders committed to defeating Islamist terrorism and winning the struggle for democracy in Iraq. I was happy to save my schadenfreude for when the anti-war crowd and the European illusionists slowly woke up to the fact that their new friend in the White House really meant what he said about Iraq and about fighting Islamist terrorism and wasn’t just trying to steal a few Republican votes. Or at least I hoped that was going to be the outcome.
So when one Stopper, whom I have the misfortune to have to listen to on most days, had an emotional How Could It Happen? moment on Wednesday, I just kept out of it. No votenfreude from me.
But they are pushing it.
I mean it is hard to read this without at least having to supress a slight smile or a chuckle:
We went to bed daring to hope and awoke to the crushing news. And ever since we’ve been swapping emails and texts about how miserable we feel. Emma Brockes on how George Bush’s victory catapaulted liberal Britain into collective depression.
I woke up on Wednesday morning (not having stayed up late) and found out that America still had a right-wing president (as it usually does). Not the result I wanted but hardly a surprise and certainly not a depression-provoking shock.
Lets be honest, how many of those ‘liberals’ in collective depression in the UK really give two hoots about the minimum wage, union rights, gay marriage or any other domestic issue in the States? The main reason they are so depressed is that they wanted to feel vindicated in their opposition to the removal of Saddam – they wanted to feel that even the bloody Yanks agreed with them about Iraq. Well, I aint going to join them in their discomfort over that one.
If we take the candidates at their word then 99 percent of American voters chose candidates who backed the liberation of Iraq and who are committed to finishing the job and to defeating Islamist terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere.
The only candidate whose views on international issues were close to the collective depression of liberal Britain was Ralph Nader and his vote was sub-Respect.
The fact that Kerry did not run on an ‘anti-war’ ticket in the first place was the real defeat for the Stoppers. They lost long before the vote which is good but really doesn’t matter because they always lose.
What matters for the American left are the kind of points that Gene has been making here over the past few days. As someone who has never visited the States, I’ll leave it to those like him to analyse the defeat.
The Stoppers over here and their echoes in the media will no doubt turn their frustration even more on Blair now. They couldn’t get their mitts on the evil one so they will try even harder to abuse his ‘poodle’.
The very sad, weepy Guardian piece linked to above hints at this already:
“I am deeply ashamed to call myself American,” wrote another, while, “I’m ashamed to be English,” countered a third, in a competitive orgy of shame. Lots of people talked about powerlessness. “And that,” said one, ominously, “won’t lift until we get our own general election.”
They never learn do they?
Four. More. Years.
Now that will be votenfreude.