Tuesday, November 4, 2008

POLITICAL: Congratulations, America

Note the clear warning in the title that this isn't a game post.

Congratulations comrade Obama for winning the chairmanship of the freshly renamed socialist U.S.S.A. :) Joke aside, I think that one thing this election showed is that smear campaigns and disinformation don't work as good any more in the internet age, and simply attaching a false "communist" label to your opponent doesn't suffice to win. And that is a good thing. Whatever you think of the outcome, I think the high turn-out, clear mandate, and increased political awareness are all things to celebrate about this election.

The immediate effects of Obama becoming the next president will be mostly an improvement of the image of America, which could and should be better. But America will not change all that much. There will still be US soldiers stationed in Iraq in a year, although we might get a better idea of when they will be leaving. We might see universal healthcare introduced, but propaganda aside that is actually a good idea from a capitalist point of view: Treating sick people only once they reach the emergency room is neither cheap nor effective, but that is the current policy. Letting poor sick people die is a lot cheaper, but fortunately even capitalist America doesn't do that. So once we accept the fact that the state can't let people just die, the question is simply one of how to provide them with healthcare in the most efficient way.

I must admit that I'm not the world's biggest Obama fan. I don't think "hope" and "change" are suitable political programs; I'd like to see a bit more substance in the future. But McCain clearly disqualified himself by veering to the right after his nomination, and going for the Republican base instead of all America. So I do congratulate Obama on his clear victory, and hope he will make the best out of it. As he has a clear majority in the House and Senate as well (albeit not filibuster-proof), he should have all the tools available to implement his ideas. He will be judged on how well he achieves that. I wish him luck.

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