Last Man Standing June 8, 2008Posted by gordonwatts in politics, science.
Looks like the primary fight is over — it is Obama (duh – I guess you’d be living under a rock and then some if you’d not heard that). As those of your reading this blog or having talked to me would have guessed – I am a Clinton supporter (I’d been hoping I could write Last Woman Standing). I still think her ideas on science were more carefully thought out than Obama’s, for example. I was, however, an island. Here in France almost everyone was rooting for Obama. And I remember seeing polling data that academics, like myself – almost any age group too – were pretty much universally for Obama. Odd man out.
Adjusting to thinking of Obama as the candidate and the next president isn’t going to be too hard, however. His ideals are very much in line with mine. I’m stuck when it comes to the Iraq war. I hate the idea of it, but now that we’ve made the mess it is our mess and I definitely feel a moral responsibility. So, half of me wants to get out, and the other half thinks walking away will trigger a catastrophy. That is why all the talk of deadlines during the campaign made me nervous – and I was sorry to see that Obama aid fired for talking what I thought was sense (i.e. he will sit down with the army and figure out the best way to extract America and its troops). His approach to science also worries me a bit — it is all global climate change and education – buzz words. We need a much deeper program than that in the USA if we are to remain as one of the scientific beacons of the world. We are about to loose our leadership position to Europe in particle physics – fine – but lets do our best not to loose anything else. Now that this is no longer a left-left race, I’m hoping he will further develop some of these ideas – not that a campaign is any place to do it, unfortunately.
By the way, on Nov 4th, there is no way I won’t be voting. I have trouble with people on both sides of the democratic primary who said they would stay home if their candidate didn’t win the primaries. A quote from the economist this week (which is slightly over the top, but gets the point across):
In any other country, the incredible circus that has marked the past year could not have occurred. The business of choosing the main contenders for the top job would have been done behind closed doors, or with a limited franchise and a few weeks of campaigning. Clinton and Obama… have spent well over a year in the most testing and public circumstances imaginable…
And who I’m voting for is, at least right now, quite clear. Obama and McCain are so far apart on the issues that it isn’t very hard for me figure out how to vote. I’m cheap: neither campaign need spend much money on my to influence my vote – nothing short of a disaster is going to make me change it.
Don’t think sexism still has its grip around America? Watch this youtube short. These guys should be fired.