Contrary to appearances, this will not be a stalwart defence of ruthless capitalism, nor some fantasy that burning fossil fuels is the best way of getting rid of those untidy oil reserves buried in Alaska. I do not pretend to like the man, nor do I believe executing the poor to be the best solution to any problem at all.
I am not even going to gloss over the fact that Bush is the son of the only Western leader ever convicted for war crimes (in his earlier incarnation at the CIA), while his method of recruitment is simply to ask Daddy's country-club pals. The family clearly has the gene for evil, and it's a dominant one.
However, he's President now, by an electoral miracle: the man who lost the popular vote, and probably would have lost the electoral college if his father's friends in the Supreme Court hadn't ruled counting votes unconstitutional. But why carp? Shouldn't we be looking at the silver lining? We in the rest of the world think so, and here are eleven reasons to be cheerful.
- At least Gore isn't President. This may not be sufficient to make up for Bush getting in, but at least it's something.
- A discredited Republican President is the best sort of President for mobilizing activists.
- Come 2002 the Republicans won't control Congress anymore, so don't worry too much about that (even assuming Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond last that long).
- Half the country believes there's been a "velvet coup", and so maybe they'll organise a counter-coup. Or at least an impeachment.
- Now everyone can see that the Supreme Court is as corrupt and partisan as every other aspect of the supposedly separated powers. No knowledge, no change.
- At least it's over. (though this is a mixed blessing for the chad-addict!)
Oh, and here's the serious policy stuff.
- The Democrats are always beholden to Israel and the Jewish vote. What the Middle East needs is an American government more aware of the interests of Palestinians (cos those A-rabs got oil, see?).
- Isolationism might mean more hardware, less wars. America as the world's policeman is bad news, especially when your army is so keen on depleted uranium rounds. It's not helping to reclaim someone's country for them and leave it a radioactive wilderness.
- Clintonism seemed much more keen on China, despite their occupation of Tibet and the adoption of a system of government fusing the worst aspects of Stalinism with the worst aspects of capitalism. Bush's team may just see China as the Yellow Peril but at least they'll be a bit more wary.
- The experience of campaigning against Nader might just convince some Democrats that a more democratic system, such as Alternative Vote, might be suitable for The Big Job.
- Hillary in 2004!