Friday, July 20, 2007


I've not been posting generally on cultural differences - other than confectionery - of late. One thing that I have been intrigued by of late, however, is the huge differences between the general political campaigning in the UK and here. It is still six months until the primaries - where the Presidential candidates are chosen - and yet everyone is talking about it, constantly. Washington Weekly, a wonderful PBR programme and now, fortunately, podcast, talks about the candidates who are "ahead" - but it is almost exclusively based on cash raised, not on polling points. Whereas funding in the UK is only talked about in relation to cash for honours scandals.

It's a very strange difference indeed. On the surface I think the Anglos might think that it boils down to the brash, capitalistic nature of the US whereas our culture is about proper politics. Some of that may be true - the fact is, you have to be multi-millionaires' friends in order to run for President, or have your own personal fortune to supplement your campaign. Nonetheless, I also wonder if some of it is due to the openness and realism of the US, where it's not vulgar or crass to talk about money because it matters and does makes things happen; in the UK, we just pretend all that doesn't really need to take place, which is why you have scandals, perhaps... everything is behind closed doors and hidden away - which is why they can get away with behaving very badly indeed.

As to the primaries themselves, I cannot pretend that my heart doesn't want Obama to win. It really, really does. I don't want to be the equivalent of the wingnuts (my new favourite term) who head to the polls only to vote for Bush etc. because they are anti-abortion, yet Obama plays to my heart every time. This from the Kaiser Daily Women's Health Roundup:

Obama on Tuesday at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund forum said that he considers sex education for kindergartners appropriate if it is tailored to their age level. He has said that if a kindergartner asks a question such as where babies come from, they should be told accurate information. Obama also said warning young people about inappropriate touching is an example of the type of sex education he supports, adding that he was criticized for his position on sex education during his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign as well.

"Sen. Obama is wrong if he thinks science-based sex education has any place in kindergarten," Romney said Thursday during a speech in Sparatansburg, S.C. Romney on Wednesday at a fundraising dinner in Colorado Springs, Colo., said, "How much sex education is appropriate for a five-year-old? In my mind, zero is the right number."Obama on Thursday said, "We have to deal with a coarsening of the culture and the over-sexualization of our young people," adding, "Of course, part of the coarsening of that culture is when politicians try to demagogue issues to score cheap political points" (Davenport, AP/ABC News, 6/19).

Where did Romney have that fundraiser? Colorado Springs, no surprise because that is the hotseat for all wingnuts: Focus on the Family is so big there the HQ even HAS ITS OWN POSTCODE.

I'm telling you people: WINGNUTS.

UPDATE: This unsprung post looks at this too, and good it is, too - if just for the title.

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