Soon it will be over. The US Presidential Elections. Which for many people I think will be a relief. Many people seem confused and bewildered, unable to find a canditate that suits their political outlook. And if I were an American citizen and had to vote (which I of course am not), I would probably give Bush a reluctant vote.
Some Left-Liberals have spoken out in favour of Bush (Hitchens and this life-long Labour voter, via Michael Totten) and some Conservatives are promoting Kerry (Andrew Sullivan, Michael Portillo). This may seem confusing at first, but it needn’t be.
The most important thing to many people is the belief in certain inalienable rights.
To these people (of which I consider myself to be one) Democracy acts as a kind of super-structure: a democrat first – democrat and antitotalitarian. Only then are you a Liberal, Socialist, Social Democrat, Conservative or what have you. Ideology is secondary.
It is how strong your democratic and antitotalitarian conviction is that decides which way you will vote, and not solely your ideological leanings.
I don’t think it’s that uncommon that in certain periods of history there are shifts whithin ideological movements. For instance, during the Second World War you had Socialists (like George Orwell) supporting the Conservative Winston Churchill and there was probably Conservatives opposing Churchill. During the Cold War there were Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists combating the so-called “Socialist states” in Europe, as were neoconservatives on the Right.
And now, in our days we have certain individuals within both the Left and the Right who understand the grave issue of Islamofascism and its totalitarian threat to our democracy and our Western ideals, our way of thinking and living.
To me it seems clear that George W. Bush is the candidate that will be best at combating Islamofascism and continuing with the process of democratizing the Middle East. I’m not saying Kerry wouldn’t also try to do this, I just think that President Bush is of a stronger conviction. We can’t afford to give Kerry the benefit of the doubt. Not at this point in time. I won’t cheer if Bush wins, but I will probably draw a sigh of relief.
So what it comes down to is not about ideology, but knowing what’s at stake.