Originally published 15 May 2008.
2008... the year the sun was meant to start shining again... For four - actually eight - years, billions of people worldwide have been patiently waiting for a chance to watch Americans make the Republican Party pay for what they've done to the world. We watched with excitement when the only viable alternative to the Republican Party started the process of determining its candidate... a slate filled with great choices. "They're all worthy," I can remember saying around January or so of this year, "They all deserve to win." It felt strange to be spoilt with choice - certainly not the way it usually is with American presidential candidates.
Then what happened? Well, the groundhog saw its shadow... Now it's starting to look like those bright rays of sunshine might yet be obscured by clouds.
Why? Well, due to an incredibly stupid process in the USA that forces candidates to spend more time fighting against their teammates than against the real enemy. With the bad luck of the Democrats facing a drawn-out primary season while the Republicans' process was short, we're now in a terribly annoying situation where Clinton backbites Obama, Obama backbites Clinton, and McCain - the real enemy (or at leats nominal head of the party which is the real enemy) sits back, relaxes, and manages to look more and more presidential while his competitors do his job for him by digging up dirt on each other.
The process has seriously made me mistrust both Clinton and Obama. It shows to me priorities well out of whack with what is truly important for their party and for their country. As someone unable to vote (by dint of not being American), I am used to sitting back in quiet frustration. I'm sure it bothers progressive Americans, however, to be forced into the same idle silence. If the schism within the Democratic party is not healed very soon, there will be another four years of Republican hegemony in the world. Which very much is the whole world's concern.
I think Barack Obama would be a fine president. I think Hillary Clinton would be a fine president. I think Obama/Clinton would be a good ticket, and I think Clinton/Obama would be a fine ticket. Hell, if Paris Hilton were heading the Democratic ticket, I'd support her. The goal, it seems to be, is to make sure the Republican Party is made to pay for their sins since 2000 by being thoroughly trounced in the presidential election this year.
It's a real pity that both Obama and Clinton appear to have lost sight of that.