October 20, 2012 by Dave Scotford
Who Would Britain Vote For?
Here in Europe we simply do not understand how the race for the White House between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is so close. Our media portrays Barack Obama as a solid statesman who faces opponents which are nothing more than out of touch, anti-abortionist, religious extremist fools, who are lead by a man who has spent his career hoarding gold bullion in case the system of paper money collapses.
As a Conservative Member of the European Parliament so brilliantly put it, “it looks like a US election between Dr. Hibbert and Montgomery Burns.”
In Britain we get see to Mr. Obama at his very best. While Mitt Romney isn’t a natural speaker, Barack Obama has an organic and effortless command over audiences who give him even a slither of attention. Simply by holding the position of President of the United States of America, Mr. Obama reminds us that he leads a nation which had the ability and desire to move from a society which excluded black voters, to electing a mixed raced President within just a generation.
There might well be over 3,000 miles of deep blue ocean separating London and Washington but the 6th November election will have a huge impact on those living in Britain. If the British public had a vote in the election, for which candidate would we give our support?
The British government has blamed much of its economic problems on a “chilling effect,” from the European Union but we don’t often look at what could happen if America teeters into another slump. A collapse of Greece, Italy, Spain or any other European Union member state would be a comparative controlled explosion against any American collapse.
It’s for that reason which Mitt Romney is seen as the enemy. Mr. Romney isn’t keen on Dodd-Frank, a financial regulation plan which has trigged some 8,000 pages of legislation in an attempt to safeguard and stabilise the American financial system. While Mr. Romney’s stance against lengthy legislation is commendable, the shockwave which would be triggered by repealing the Dodd-Frank Act would be catastrophic, as much of Europe’s financial firewall strategy is based on it going ahead.
Foreign Affairs may not be the key battle ground this time around but talk to the people on the streets of cities across Britain and you’ll start to see just how much Washington really does influence the world. From a British point of view, the majority of people back Barack Obama, though that’s not necessarily down to a liking of the President but more of a fear of Mitt Romney.
In a survey carried out by The Global Post, British respondents highlighted a concern that right wing policies would adversely affect the already faltering stability across the Middle East region. Michael Fowler, a respondent to the Global Post survey, said that he believed that if Romney won the election “there would be increased tensions with Iran and a possibility of war.” He added that “Romney has certainly been more bellicose in his outlook and it could be a dangerous time for the world.”
In a speech back in July, made to war veterans in Nevada, Mr. Romney said that “the ayatollahs who each year mark a holiday by leading chants of ‘Death to America’ are not going to be talked out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons.” It’s that kind of warmongering which brings most Britain’s to shift uneasily in their seat at the thought of a President Mitt Romney.
However, things certainly aren’t plain sailing for Barack Obama either. In his book, ‘Dreams from my Father’, Mr. Obama made it clear that he stands against British control of the Falkland Islands and when he first took office, he returned a bust of Winston Churchill to British diplomats. Though they won’t be issues which have any impact on the race for the White House, they are issues which the British hold as part of a national identity. All good politicians know that personality counts just as much as policy.
Both candidates have pledged allegiance to the “special relationship” between America and Britain, with Barack Obama labelling it as “one of the greatest alliances the world has ever known.” Mitt Romney vowed to abandon “left wing coolness” towards London and that the current White House administration don’t “fully appreciate the shared history,” between the two nations.
If Britain could vote then it would almost certainly be for Barack Obama – though, having said that, we British would probably vote for anyone, everyone and anything over Mitt Romney. The 6th November is almost too close to call but it’s not just an important day for America but the rest of the world too. / photo by The Prime Minister’s Office