Saturday, 30 August 2008

Strategy And Tactics

Well, John McCain has made his strategic move - not only has he chosen a woman as his VP candidate but he's grabbed an evangelical Christian at that. The most significant aspect of his choice is obvious - it's a woman. A female choice is exciting, bold and clever - he can snare the obvious chunk of the self-declared Hillary supporters who have already said they're going to vote Republican in protest at the way Hillary has been treated by their party (not that her ill treatment was so much done by the party as by the 4th estate), these female supporters are probable single issue liberal feminists who will shoot themselves in the foot by supporting a new female, even if her Evangelical conservative values are far more dissimilar to most of their liberal values. Should McCain/Palin win it would not be long before these voters regret their spiteful folly. But the Evangelical choice has a significant secondary benefit - it reassures the faith-nuts who were having grave doubts that there was going to be any serious contender who grovels before their Vengeful God(TM). It pains me that the Leader Of The Free World(also TM) has to play the religion game. Why does western leadership pander to the religious right? I so wish that the churches would just admit they had a good run and quietly go away. There are more important issues at stake than traditional family values (whose family, mate? Whose family are you talking about? Mine - split parents, two houses, additional adult member, pretty decent kids? The multitudes of my friends whose parents split because they knew everybody's lives would be easier if it happened?), abortion (a terrible decision for any woman (and not too good for the man who's involved) to have to make but one that prevents a lot more problems than it causes) and the right to ignore the most basics of Science (evolution is provable - God is not). The environment, quality of life for the many and not the few and the management of the squabbling hundreds of countries and thousands of ethnic groups who just seem determined to cause havoc throughout the planet. Well, both McCain and Obama are aware that there's a world out there - and in order to be who they can be they need to be President and the first step towards that is getting elected. McCain's transparent grab for votes with his choice - get the women, get the Christians, get the excitement back in my campaign - may pull off a victory but I hope it doesn't. Barring a catastrophe - whatever happens, come November there will be either a woman or a black man in the White House - women won't take the big seat just yet - but which Vice President hasn't entertained the certainty that they'll be following their boss's footsteps when his term is up. And Palin wouldn't have to wait long - McCain's getting on in years and 1 term might be all he's got in him - but should she find herself contesting the presidency itself she'd be fighting Hillary, the most formidable female politician since Maggie Thatcher. But the other alternative is of a future just as bright - a man, who a hundred years prior, would have been a slave - fifty years prior wouldn't have been able to vote, is of a race that symbolised the plight of and galvanised the fight of minorities everywhere - and is now the leader of not only those minorities but the majorities and that is a hopeful thing indeed.

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