Like My Lai, the Florida fiasco is no inexplicable exception but is part of and at the same time obscures the larger and more important reality, leaving many unable to see the wood for the trees. Particularly blinded are the radical left whose understandable anger demands nothing less (and sadly it seems nothing more!) than the head of Bush. Now, as attractive as the sight of W´s head on a pike may be, what happened to the sensible radical notion that given the rancid state of its political institutions, US elections as an exercise in democracy have long descended into farce anyway? Such is the cockeyed hatred of Bush that some have gone so far as to berate Ralph Nader for daring to exercise his democratic right to stand for election and whose independent, genuinely people-based candidacy is the only remotely democratic aspect of the whole pathetic shambles. Even Noam Chomsky, who usually knows better than to get involved in such nonsense came out, if not exactly rooting for Kerry, then certainly endorsing him.
Indeed it was such heavyweight devotion to a man who makes Al Gore look charismatic that made me wonder if he didn’t somehow possess special heretofore hidden powers. Could a vote for Kerry really restore genuine democracy and international decency to the Oval Office? To even begin to answer this challenging question we need to ask ourselves a whole lot more.
Post 9-11, will John Kerry have the balls the tear up Bush’s blank cheque to Sharon that is currently bankrupting the Middle East peace process? His reactionary press conferences on the subject does not inspire confidence. And would his position on other international issues from global trade to Iraq be any better?
On a fundamental democratic level, would he tackle the institutional rot that has reduced successive US elections to an international joke? Will he tackle the core problem of campaign finance that nobody seems to talk about anymore? Will he restrict the power of a handful of CEOs to buy and elect a man who is supposed to represent the majority? Does any president have the political will to reform the system that brought him to power?