Thursday, October 16, 2008

Which country can we flee to if Obama wins?

I mean that title facetiously. The Left are always saying something like that about a possible Republican win, and in their case there has always been plenty of places for them to go. Canada is the most convenient for them, but plenty of European nations share their views. Can the same sort of thing be said about Conservatives? If Obama wins is their some nation an irate Conservative could move to that would be more Conservative than an Obama America?

The above article is really a series of articles. The editors of The American Interest invited knowledgeable journalists from a number of countries to provide their “take on the next U.S. president.” The lead article is on Germany. According to Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of Die Zeit in Hamburg, “three-quarters of all Germans (74 percent) would cast their ballot for Obama, if they could.”

Not every nation is represented in the American Interest survey, but many are. I won’t quote from every article -- just a few highlights that interested me:

In Hungary “Barack Obama is the overwhelming favorite . . . “

The Russians don’t seem attracted to either choice.

In regard to Japan, the Journalist, Hiro Aida wrote, “During the height of U.S.-Japan tensions in the 1980s, a friend of mine, a Japanese trade lawyer qualified for the DC and New York bars, said that the best way to solve all our bilateral troubles was for Japan to become the 51st state of the United States. This would by definition eliminate “international’ trade frictions between us and, moreover, the relatively populous ‘state’ of Japan would gain more than a quarter of all the seats in the House of Representatives – a political block so huge that it could dominate U.S. trade policies! My friend, clearly, was either joking or crazy. Even so, it is worth asking whether Japan would be a red or a blue 51st state. It is blue at the moment, but not so blue as France where 85 percent support Barack Obama. Japan would be a blue state with motley red spots, particularly among the leadership elite.”

In regard to India, C. Raja Mohan writes, “Defying the conventional wisdom that India and the United States are ‘estranged democracies’, the two are now crafting an unprecedented strategic partnership. No wonder Bush has higher ratings in India than in the United states. Nor is it surprising that while the heart of the Indian middle classes is with Obama, their head hopes for a continuation of the Bush policies through a Republican victory.”

In regard to Egypt, Mohamed Elmenshawy writes, “While Obama distances himself from his Muslim heritage on the American political frontlines, his supporters in the Middle East still often assume that his background presages pro-Arab polices.”

In regard to Malaysia, David Martin Jones writes, “That a candidate from a minority background could plausibly be the next President of the United States hugely impresses Malasians.”

In regard to Mexico, Luis Rubio writes, “More than half of us have a direct relative living in the United states . . . To be frank, Mexicans tend to be uncomfortable with African-Americans, to the point that many Mexican-Americans may vote in November against traditional party preferences. . . .”

Brent Choi writes, “Both North and South Korea are rooting for Barack Obama.”

Kathryn Boateng writes, “Obama is not only black, but as a scion of an African father he is, for Ghanians, irretrievably African.”


According to the Gallup Daily Tracking poll, Obama leads McCain 49% to 43% as of today, October 16th:

So let us assume, for the sake of this note, that Obama will win the election. My facetious question about where a Conservative might go if Obama wins (if he behaved like Leftists do after a Republican win) is answered, “nowhere.” There is no safe Republican-loving sanctuary any place in the world – at least not in the way Leftists have “sanctuaries” in such places as Canada, France, Germany and other European nations.

To move to a more serious question, what effect would an Obama presidency have on our future foreign policy? The impression I get is not much. The “man in the street” almost everywhere in the world likes the idea of Obama, but the serious student of foreign policy, almost everywhere, warns that all those street-walkers are sure to be disappointed when they see what Obama actually does after he becomes president. Muslims like it that he has an Islamic heritage. Africans like it that he has an African heritage. Leftists in Europe like it that he is Leftist. But more serious minds caution that when push comes to shove, he is going to place American interests first. He will not favor Muslim or African interests over American interests. He may wish to favor Leftist issues, but he won’t go as far as Europeans want. And even if he would secretly want to move the nation further to the Left, political exigencies will constrain him.

Lawrence Helm

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