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Four More Years

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Obama's still in the White House. And that's a good thing. Romney is the most luckless, hapless used car salesman ever. It's truly a wonder he got that far. Although looking at his competition in the 'grand old party', it's not a surprise.

The people in the US are totally out of touch with the rest of the world. There's everybody on the planet on the one side and those in the US on the other. Everyone everywhere understands everyone except the people in the US, and the people in the US don't understand anyone, least of all themselves.

A junk culture. Home of crazy killers and hobby AK-47s. A country where today half the population live under the official poverty line. Where 25% are soon in the ranks of the unemployed. Where junk food was born and where it reigns supreme. A junk culture.

There are some good things in and from the US, but mostly it's grotty there. No country for old men, or young men, or any men, or any women. No country for anyone.

Obama gave one of his best speeches ever on victory night. No tele-prompters to be seen. So he must have been rehearsing the thing a long time. But he did well. And he covered all the important points, hit all the right buttons.

Save one.

The curse of the US is to be imprisoned in an 'us and them' mentality. They can't break out of it. Where the rest of the people on this planet think in terms of 'we're all in it together', the people of the US have to keep thinking in terms of 'who's our new enemy?'

The world doesn't need more wars - certainly not from a Nobel Peace Prize winner - and the world certainly doesn't need any further weapons manufacturing. The human race has evolved too far now. People are too smart to buy that old line anymore.

US defence expenditures not only cripple the economy over there, they're not only ridiculous and obnoxious and extreme, but they cause suffering.

The kind of suffering seen in the Collateral Murder video, the kind exposed by the Afghan War Diaries, the kind further exposed by the Iraq War Logs.

A good president would have taken this information, much as might be claimed was done with Abu Ghraib, and acted on it. This, it must be remembered, is the individual who once said whistle-blowing was necessary for a society.

But things happen when conquerors enter Washington DC for the first time. It's never what they expected. There's a new office on every corner with a new Sir Humphrey Appleby ready to dash their illusions to the ground.

So let's be generous. Let's assume Barack Obama has been misled by all the people in the US capital who are not elected by the people and who are totally unknown by them.

And let's now give Obama a chance to correct his mistakes of the past four years. He's been working hard, that president. Perhaps the first time he's worked hard all his life. He never wrote a single article for the Harvard Law Review, he got his name on dozens of bills in the Illinois legislature without knowing the first thing about those bills or working on them, but now he's been working. You can see it on the man.

Let's also give him the benefit of the doubt - give him that despite all, there's some semblance of ethos under that wearied exterior. That he's now set on doing the Right Thing.

The 'right thing' is to keep on keeping on with the US economy. Of course. And put some bang in Obamacare. And above all it's to stop persecuting whistleblowers and WikiLeaks. They've been good to Obama - except he doesn't realise it.

The people in the US never seem to grasp how much they're hated outside their own borders, and never seem to understand the simple reasons for that hatred.

The people in the US are not masters of the world. They're neither better nor worse than the rest of the people on the planet. But they have to come to the table with a bit of self-conscious humility. They must start realising how much evil's been hidden by their elected representatives. They have to start speaking truth to power. They have to start applauding those who come forward to expose those evils. So we can all get back to the simple task of enjoying our lives and being good to each other.

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