October 22, 2008

Whom I would vote for

A couple of days ago I received a kind message from an American facebook friend of mine. Among other things she wrote that she had taken a look at my blog and was surprised that I am writing about American politics. “I guess it affects the world everywhere,” was her conclusion.

Well, I think she is definitely right. Actually, what happens in the U.S. affects the whole world, and that's why I hope the American voters vote for the best candidate not only for their country but also for the whole world. It is not a simple matter, of course, but it’s a huge responsibility.

Whom would I vote for, if I had to? It’s a matter of intellectual honesty—and of political ethics as well, I suppose—to answer that fateful question … Ok, here we go: in a general sense, being a moderate, by definition I feel frankly equidistant from conservatives and liberals, but I must say that there are some good reasons which, in my view, should induce people like me (moderate, “pro-America,” anti-Fundamentalist, etc) to be “moderately” pro-McCain. So, I think I’d vote for him.

What are those good reasons? Well, I think this Michael Walzer’s piece in Dissent (via normblog) contains the answer. He offers 10 suggestions as to how US foreign policy might change if Barack Obama is elected. And here's one of them:

[S]ome troop withdrawals will be necessary because the Democrats are really committed to a stronger effort in Afghanistan, which means more troops going there and more troops from Europe, or so the Democrats hope. And this might be the place to say that no new American foreign policy will be successful or sustainable unless the administration finds European partners who are prepared, along with the U.S., to take responsibility (some degree of responsibility) for the way the world goes. American multilateralism is going to require a lot of work from the other sides, probably more than our European allies currently have in mind.


in terms of foreign policy the U.S. will look a lot better if there is an Obama presidency and a large Democratic majority in Congress. But compared to the Clinton years the U.S. has less power and diminished authority today, and the world is more recalcitrant. A different American foreign policy may not make a big difference unless it is accompanied and supported by policy changes in other parts of the world.