One or the other. I’m not fussed. I’m kinda hoping it’s Superman, though. I write this post on Monday evening, the day before the big vote. Did your guy win? If your guy is Obama, then probably so. I’m not sure why so many people are so convinced Romney is about to get into the White House, when the odds are so clearly so long. Too much time spent looking at the national vote and too much wishful thinking, I suspect. I’ve been following the FiveThirtyEight blog lately. The guy has a short record, but a stunningly accurate one. It’s been an interesting read, and one of the more plausible and objective reads on the election.
I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Not simply because I’m a Brit. Not simply because I’m a ‘centrist’. I believe certain times call for certain policies. And though my natural political instincts might make me lean Democrat, I’m well aware that what works well in Britain, and what may be best for us Brits, is not necessarily what’s good for America. Forcing your own beliefs down the throat of another culture, even one quite similar, isn’t how to go about things. I think that’s apparent from Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s also apparent, although it appears few people have checked, from several thousand years of human civilisation.
I’m a floating voter in the UK and would be in the US. The sort of person who, if American, the two parties need to convince. Romney hasn’t convinced me. Far from it. On a personal level, I don’t believe in him. Quite the opposite. He seems to me to be something of an opportunist, in the most negative sense possible. I haven’t got an awful lot nice to say about Obama. But nor have I much bad to say about him. The economy was doomed before he walked into the job. But the one thing I can say about him, is that he’s not Romney. If I’ve guessed wrong, and Mitt is headed to Pennsylvania Avenue, then the world just became a poorer, more desperate and more dangerous place. We reap what you sow…
On a party level, the Republicans are not suffering from a few bad apples. There is an infestation of extremism. Both of the religious and tea party varieties. Rotting the party to the core. And turning far too many otherwise intelligent people into frothing morons, prepared to believe all sorts of ludicrous nonsense, and sadly adopting many of the racist and bigoted attitudes that they’ve allowed themselves to be subjected to*. The Republican party needs to jettison the extremists, and let them form their own party. Similar to what we have in the UK – UKIP. Although, sadly, having jettisoned the extremists, the Conservative party then moved back to the right to try and sweep up their votes. I hope the Republicans succeed in the former and don’t pander to the latter. It’s not a recipe for success.
I do have a recipe for success to offer. Come back to the fold. One of the biggest flaws of the US presidential system is in having two term presidents. The Queen is a one term monarch. Just as it should be. We’ll forgive you your errant ways. And quite frankly, I don’t blame you one tiny bit for throwing all that tea in the sea – it’s a disgusting drink. Put aside your divisions and join us in one big happy family. Sure, you’ll have to give July 4th a miss, but then in June we have Jubilee celebrations every so often.
And sure, you’ll miss November 6th elections, but then on November 5th you can join us and celebrate how we caught, tortured, disembowelled and disenfranchised the Catholics! It’s great fun, and there are fireworks! Although, if you’re Italian American or Irish American you may want to focus more on the Jubilee celebrations. Having said that, the Irish Americans might not go for that so much either. Well, we can just dust off the old No Blacks, No Dogs and No Irish signs. Except, of course, the blacks bit will have to be covered up. Not very 21st century, that bit. And us Brits actually love dogs, so that bit’ll have to go too. Oh well, there’s always Mexico…
The photo and caption below is years old, and has been doing the rounds of Facebook again lately. But today seems a good day to post it, just in case you somehow haven’t seen it yet. I even added an appropriate flag too – the first ever flag of the US. It’s not too controversial. After all, it already does feature in one American flag. Ironically, of the same state of the current (and returned?) US president. Who one held British citizenship, of a sort. See, you’re halfway back already. God save the Queen! And the United States of British America….
*Not all Republicans are like this. Nor all those who voted for Romney. I’m aware of that. So, I’m probably not referring to you. Probably…
A MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN
To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).
Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’
3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.