Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Over Here, As Seen From Over There
There are a few observations I'd like to make as an ex-patriate whose been closely following both the recent French presidential election and the nascent American one. First, there really is something weird about the "values" litmus tests that have coagulated American politics these days. Compared to that, following the French campaign -- where religious faith, abortion and evolution were never once mentioned -- is like the feeling you get for the first few seconds after taking off a pair of ankle weights.
Second, the criteria for selecting the President of the United States just seem to have become -- there's no other word for it -- insubstantial. When you consider the potential impact the outcome has on the lives of American voters, it's curious. But when you consider the potential impact the outcome has on the lives of the all the people around the world who can't cast ballots, it's an abdication of responsibility that borders on criminal negligence.
From a global perspective, the idea that Mitt Romney might ever be invested with the power of the American presidency strikes me as fundamentally unjust.