October 31, 2004 by Allen George
America is divided.
That’s the message I’m hearing reiterated by every news organization following the U.S. presidential campaign. From my perspective it certainly seems that way. The dichotomy is marked and has polarized the American public into defiant, uncompromising bastions. One side views Bush as a voice who voices their views and values, who’ll bring back the good old days. The other views Bush as the a voice of the past. He represents all that’s wrong – cronyism, unfettered capitalism, unilateralism, someone who’ll erode civil liberties…
It’s obvious to see where my views lie and I make no apologies for them. In fact, if I were in the U.S. I’d be branded a liberal. Possibly even a yellow-bellied variety at that were to believe some of the employees at the last organization I worked at. If your views paralleled theirs, liberalism and socialism were ideals to be stamped out. Dirty words.
There’s a lot to be said about this election campaign. The smear stories. The lack of anything more than sound-bytes on complex issues. The focus on ‘key states’ – a strategy I believe is a sign of an electoral system with serious deficiences (Canada has its own problems too). The destructive impact of polling. The carefully ‘staged’ debates. So on and so on. There’s too little time to discuss it all and frankly, I’ve been ‘out of the loop’ for quite some time. There’s a tempation for technical individuals to sit back and ignore the world around them. As a general rule we’re apathetic bastards. Here’s hoping that I at least will break that mould.