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Alan Johnson: If I Could Vote, It’d Be For…

Jewcy recently asked a select group of foreign writers we admire to state which candidate they’d vote for if they could, and why. Alan Johnson is the editor of the online literary journal Democratiya. I’d be politically homeless in the … Read More

By / November 3, 2008

Jewcy recently asked a select group of foreign writers we admire to state which candidate they’d vote for if they could, and why. Alan Johnson is the editor of the online literary journal Democratiya.

I’d be politically homeless in the US. As a social democrat I am for spreading the wealth around. I believe in the free way of life and the republican form of government as the basis of individual and civic greatness and I think both require a much greater measure of equality among citizens than we see in the US today. But there is more than this at stake in the election. In 2007 the Democrats launched a sustained surge-against-the-surge. The inconvenient truth is that if the Democrats had been in charge the West would have sustained a strategic defeat in Iraq. As would the Iraqi people. Barack Obama talks admiringly of Reinhold Niebuhr. That’s good. But he drifted with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the netroots. That’s worrying. Obama’s Iraq policy looks reasonable for 2009, but only because others, John McCain to the fore, ignored it in 2007 and 2008 and turned Iraq around. And with his probable defeat days away, I want to put this on record: John McCain did not look ‘borderline senile’ to me as he travelled back and forward to Iraq, walking the streets of Baghdad in a flak jacket with General Petraeus, and making the case back in the US for what the Democrats used to call ‘The McCain Surge’ (when they thought it would fail). To me, he looked heroic.

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