Today's Faves: Jackass, America's Image, and African Killer Bees

Voices without Votes continuously aggregates interesting links about the election from world bloggers. Our authors take turns picking their top 3 personal favorites every weekday.

The pickings were slim on Thursday but that didn't prevent me from finding analysis and commentary from some of the world's best.

I begin with the Puerto Rican group blog, VivirLatino, and a posting titled, I Couldn't Agree With Them More!!!!

Responding to an earlier comment by U.S. Representative John Murtha (D-PA) who called Pennsylvania voters racists, this blog references a Fox-TV video snippet where John McCain effectively stumbles over his words and agrees with Murtha.

It doesn't get any better than this, readers.

John McCain is chocked full of total Jackass moments these days…Throwing all his truth out there like that…I feel like sending a couple tios out on the dance floor to reel drunk John off the floor and bring him home.

My second contribution comes from American neighbor Canada, where Ontario blogger Darryl Wolk summarizes a Globe and Mail newspaper story about a Gallup poll on Canadian and Mexican viewpoints on the presidential candidates. The poll indicated 67% of Canadians and a similar ratio of Mexicans favor Barack Obama (despite 63% of Mexicans who have no opinion).

In Canada and the world want Obama, Wolk writes:

…I think these numbers are positive. Obama has the tools to restore America's image in the world. Given that economic, security, climate change and issues such as Iran are going to require international cooperation; I think these numbers demonstrate that Obama has the leadership qualities to get something productive done on all these fronts. I look forward to his first trip to Canada as President. I suspect he will be greeted with a much different reception than George W. Bush has been given here in the past.

Finally, I fly to Trinidad and Tobago (via Global Voices Online), where Trinidadian blogger and military veteran Taran Rampersad highlights a John Cleese interview who describes Sarah Palin as “a nice looking parrot” and provides amazing commentary on why Obama must win:

…while everyone outside the U.S. likes the idea of living in the U.S. based on media advertising that says the United States is the land of milk and honey – people have come to terms with the fact that the milk may be sour and the honey is guarded by African killer bees.

While the United States presents a large export market for the world, the purchasing power of the United States has decreased significantly during George W. Bush's reign – the last financial disaster added more injury than the financial hemorrhage of the war and subsequent occupation of Iraq (whether you agree with it or not). It's well and good to support the troops – I do – but supporting the troops requires more than making good decisions on the ground. Supporting the troops means assuring that the troops have (1) valid reasons for being there, and (2) not throwing away the lives and quality of life of the troops for reasons that seem to simplify to oil.

The world sees all of this. Maybe it doesn't speak openly of it, and it's quite possible that it doesn't speak openly enough. But there is a change in the tone when one talks about the United States, one that doesn't necessarily even make it onto the Internet because of digital divide issues, but it's there. Linger with an American accent in some places and you'll get an earful. The wars, the ticking time bombs of mortgages, foreign policy that dictates rather than discusses… no smart person bites the hand that feeds it, but if the hand that feeds is running out of food, there is a change in that status quo. A foreign policy of preventive war (would George Washington have approved?) doesn't make friends. It makes a nervous planet.

Skipping ahead in the superb analysis is the following:

And the world, as a whole, seems more likely to support Obama. Why? He's been labeled a Muslim, when Islam is the world's fastest growing religion. He's been labeled a terrorist, in a world where an Axis of Evil is said to exist. And while he is neither, by being accused of these things he stands with the innocents who have been accused of the same things. Frankly, McCain/Palin have seemed to make Obama's international weight greater, which means he'll have greater weight in foreign policy – something Bill Clinton is/was good at but his wife may not have been very good at.

Me? I'm a veteran. I'll always support the troops because that's what veterans do – but supporting the troops doesn't mean flinging them into danger whenever rich people feel the need to become richer or the powerful seek more power. It's time that the world saw a United States that it would like to have trade and political relations with – the United States of lore.

McCain can't do that. Obama can. This election can affect the global status quo – how it is affected, because of the media and the citizen journalists, is fickle. But at the end of the day, what one has to ponder is this:

Would the world prefer to deal with McCain or Obama? The world, if you listen, is saying Obama. These are the nations and peoples that the United States trades with, makes policy with, and otherwise negotiates with. McCain has shown his politics in his campaign, smearing his opponents whenever he sees fit. Is that the person who should be handling foreign policy and reporting to the American people? I think not.

Obama has to win. Poor guy. He's working so hard for a crappy job.

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