25 October 2008

Boris Johnson on Obama

No, Boris Johnson can't vote in the US elections. He's British (but born in New York). However, if you're unfamiliar with Johnson, he's a quirky, colorful fellow who just happens to be the mayor of London. He's also one of the United Kingdom's most famous Conservatives, and he happens to be pro-American (unlike his predecessor, "Red"Ken Livingstone).

Johnson wrote an editorial for The Daily Telegraph (a conservative broadsheet) the other day that reviewed both presidential candidates. Johnson's article revolves about the issue of change, of "repair[ing] those American ideals" damaged during the Bush administration (he touches on a variety of issues, from the Iraq war to the economic meltdown).

Johnson celebrates John McCain's nobility, asserting that the Senator is a "brave and principled man," but adds, "McCain seems to stand for perpetual sabre-rattling against the terrors of abroad [. . . .] it is not clear how America under McCain would recover her standing in the eyes of the world." In Johnson's view, a McCain administration would extend the Bush administration.

On the other hand,

There are all sorts of reasons for hoping that Barack Hussein Obama will be the next president of the United States. He seems highly intelligent. He has an air of courtesy and sincerity. Unlike the current occupant of the White House, he has no difficulty in orally extemporising a series of grammatical English sentences, each containing a main verb.

Unlike his opponent, he visibly incarnates change and hope, at a time when America desperately needs both.

[. . . .]
Obama deserves to win because he seems talented, compassionate, and because he offers the hope of rejuvenating the greatest country on earth in the eyes of the rest of us. All those are sufficient reasons for desiring his victory.
Moreover, there's the issue of race:
If Obama wins, he will have established that being black is as relevant to your ability to do a hard job as being left-handed or ginger-haired, and he will have re-established America's claim to be the last, best hope of Earth.
Admittedly, Johnson's support for Obama came as a surprise. And it's certainly been criticized by his fellow Conservatives, but his editorial is, if nothing else, thoughtful. And it reflects the kind of esteem with which so many countries have held America--at least, until recently.

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

I notice that Barack Obama wants everyone to learn another language, and that Boris wants Latin in all London schools.

Would it not make sense to decide on a common language, taught, in all schools and in all countries, worldwide?

An interesting video can be seen at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670. A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at http://www.lernu.net