John McEnroe once said
Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser. I guess this quote sums up John Kerry’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory last week.
I had fooled myself into feeling that the morning after the election I would wake into a world that had changed somehow – I was fully aware that this realisation would fade as quickly as the elation we all felt when Blair defeated the Tories in 1997 (how we laughed as Michael Portillo lost his seat.) But I did expect the elation. But it wasn’t to be. Bush came through, and you have to wonder what this means for the world? Will Iran be next on the hit list? After Iran, what next? China? Russia? For a good deal of Bush’s more religious supporters, World War III would fulfill their desire for the apocalypse. The evangelists with megaphones in London sound particularly chirpy now – more people do seem to believe we are in the end days.
What it does mean for America is that more people in the world will hate Americans. Trust for Americans is seriously eroding – if their government is so happy to walk away from treaties, why trust their business contracts? The perception of America has taken a real battering, and sooner or later this is going to disappoint Americans. Of course, they will blame other people for this, rather than seeing responsibility within America’s policies, domestic and foreign. But you can’t fix these things by launching more wars, or by pretending it is the fault of others. The biggest hurdle is, plenty of Americans don’t want to fix these things.
The irony is, a vote for Bush this time around was a vote for Hillary Clinton in four years time. Maybe we will get our shallow and short lived elation then. It would have been nice to see Bush lose though…