Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm bored already

The BBC have overloaded the news with endless coverage of the US election and I frankly couldn't care less who wins there anymore.

And I am becoming irritated that the coverage that we do get is no more than salacious gossip about the various candidates private lives.

Since there isn't much difference between them on the areas where we have an interest (Iraq and Afghanistan) we are left with nothing other than to pick over their personalities, foibles, their choice of running mate and - oh yes, obsess over the fact that Obama is a black man, McCain is a pensioner and running mate Palin is a woman who also has a 'teen pregancy' in the family.

Now this may fascinate the political correct obsessed BBC journo's but for the rest of us is completely irrellevant. The undercurrent of the media coverage is the assumption that the average American is at heart racist, sexist and ageist (otherwise why would it matter so much?) .
America has many faults but predjudice is not one of them. No doubt some Americans are but in all honesty I have never met one - even when I was doing business a few years ago in the Missisippi Delta.

We forget in England, where our immigrant communities are a mostly post-war phenomenon, that America has been a multi cultural society for it's modern existance. Although they have a history of race riots and segregation it is to most Americans just that - history.

In fact one of the most striking things about spending time in the States is just how unjudgemental they are about everyone - or at least they judge everyone on only one criteria - how much money you have (or don't, as the case may be).

So posh restuarants will happily welcome leather-clad Hells Angels provided their gold card has enough room for the bill, while you will regularly get served in McDonalds by well educated middle class men in their seventies forced to carry on working because American healthcare is virtually non existent, to pick just two examples.

So I am not at all surprised that this election has an old man, a young woman and a black man in it and nor are most Americans - and I guarantee that these issues will affect hardly anyones vote, either. They will be worried about the economy, law and order and all the countless other issues affecting their daily lives - and they will vote for whoever has the answers they want to hear, whoever has the slickest advertising and whoever manages to make the mud stick to the other guy.

Does this fascination in Europe with the narrow issues of the race, age and gender of the candidates tell us more about ourselves than it does about Americans?

I think it probably does.


Anonymous said...

The BBC are just a disgrace, their american correspondant cannot hide his pro obama bias in every report. proof of their institutional leftie bias which they mostly try to suppress in uk political coverage but blatantly on show in the reports of the usa one.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Marcus for not having a photo of the fragrant Mrs Palin.