A different view of the World: Politics from Abroad

Here is an article originally from the FT. I have to be honest, as one who just returned from Europe, last night’s speech by Sarah Palin was a reminder of what I had not missed about living in the US. There is just something about that posture of politics that makes me ask the question, “Did she really just say that?”
Now, I am far from trying to be unfair here. But for a party that most consistently is representative of the Christian right, I finding a great disconnect in the language they use, and the beliefs they profess. The economics they suppose, and the mission they support.
This is a very tricky political season for me. And as I said to a professor today, if Obama doesn’t win, as one who has called a new generation to involvement in the political process, there will be a new generation exiled within the political systems of America. That my friends would be really really tragic.
Long story short, here is the article from FT. I hope it gives a little perspective of those outside looking on American politics. Politics which do effect others outside of ourselves. Whether we want to think it does or not.
Palin fascinates European media
Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, grabbed European headlines on Thursday with the focus either on her ideology or her gender.
“The Republicans hope to have found their Obama,” opined Le Monde, the left-of-centre French daily, following the mother of five’s rousing speech to the Republican convention on Wednesday. In Germany, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung greeted ”the rage from Wasilla [her home town]” as a woman who presented ”herself as a pugnacious and self-confident politician”.
The French media provided full coverage of the pregnancy of her teenage daughter (treatment they would be reluctant to apply to their own political figures) and have joined the debate as to whether adding her name to the presidential ticket is reckless folly or a tactical masterstroke on the part of John McCain.
But what intrigues the French is not so much her good looks or her achievements as a working mother. France has plenty of glamorous female politicians, many of them with large families. What intrigues the secular and still left-leaning French is how the choice of Ms Palin, an anti-abortion, creationist Christian, has pushed the candidacy of Mr McCain to the right and transformed the US presidential contest into a battle of values rather than policies. “The choice of Ms Palin turned the centrist John McCain into the ”heir to Bush”, Le Monde said in an editorial.
Writing in the conservative Le Figaro, Nicole Bacharan, a French historian, said the arrival of Ms Palin would ”trigger the eruption of moral intolerance in the campaign”.
Sarah ‘Barracuda’ Palin, the fanatic of the heartlands of America,” screamed Le Point magazine’s website. The weekly described her speech to the Republican Convention “as a declaration of war [on the] Democrats as well as on the media and elites who dare to raise doubts about her ability to serve as vice-president of the United States”.
It also quoted a US army veteran, Bill Coll, as raising parallels with a French female hero. “The great leaders sometimes come from the countryside, from the most remote spots. Remember Joan of Arc! Sarah could be our modern Joan of Arc”.
Closer to the US, in Canada, French-speaking media were more hostile. “To paraphrase Martin Luther King, today we could say: “I had a nightmare,” wrote Lysiane Gagnon, of La Presse, a French speaking daily newspaper of Montreal. ”Worst is that this nightmare seems realistic, taking into account the age and the health of John McCain.”
She condemned John McCain, anointed as the Republican presidential candidate on Wednesday, for “being ready to give the vice presidency to an uncultured woman with archaic convictions, without any serious political experience, only to rally the fundamentalists. This is no longer impetuousness, but madness”.
In Britain, more attention was paid to Ms Palin’s success in combining career and family. “Almost overnight, Sarah Palin replaced Hillary Clinton as the screen on which we project our doubts and hopes about women and success,” wrote Nancy Gibbs, in the Times. ”In noisy public forums, everyone seemed suddenly certain of beliefs they used to reject: of course a woman can manage five kids and the vice leadership of the free world, said conservative defenders previously known for asserting a woman’s need to submit to her husband.”
“Sarah Palin is the image of a certain superheroine, but don’t expect John McCain’s running mate to fight for female rights” claimed Joyce McMillan on the Scotsman. “It is the age of Sarah Palin, the Wonder Woman who … puts her formidable power at the disposal of the male leader, to use as he sees fit.”

With every hope for all our futures…regardless of political inspiration or nationality…
joshua c
ps.
Education is only one of the civil rights issues of our age Mr. McCain. There are many others, most of which you don’t see as civil rights!