There are good, obvious reasons why foreigners are not allowed to interfere – especially financially – in a country’s elections. However, in the case of the US, I weighed it up and felt it was morally justifiable to make a small donation to Obama.
Firstly, the decision made in a few weeks in the US will affect the whole world, in fact, lives may depend on it. [A recent survey showed that every single country in the world would prefer Obama over McCain.] Also, as illegal as it may be, I am not American, nor bound by American law or the policies of the US Federal Election Commission. Plus, the idea of ‘non-interference’ is hard to define, as it would seem foreigners can campaign for/against a candidate, perhaps even advertise online on their behalf or raise awareness remotely by other means.
If only America could be trusted to truly be the guardian and bastion of the democratic process, which it so professes, than perhaps it wouldn’t be desirable or necessary for external elements to try and knock some sense into the system. When a gun-wielding, abstinence promoting, creationist believing, Alaskan independence touting, pro-censorship, war-mongering, polar bear-kiilling, anti-abortion extremist is selected, opportunistically and cynically, as a running mate, it’s painful to watch a nation take it seriously and celebrate anti-intellectualism so reverently. And when a terminally sick, technologically clueless, perpetual-fib-telling, racist millionaire who doesn’t know how many houses he owns calls his opponent ‘elitist’, one has to wonder why the hell there is any question or competition in this race.
I’m following it minute-by-minute and it’s painful to watch. What exactly would the Republicans have to do to be voted out? A hated war, an economy in free-fall, unemployment, poverty, record deficits, record unpopularity etc..etc.. What must it take? They truly can do and *say* anything they want.
Of course, the American Dream has only ever existed in people’s heads and on paper – never in reality. The lofty ideals of justice, liberty and freedom have never been achieved or upheld. At the moment Jefferson wrote ‘All men are equal’, he had 5,000 slaves toiling his several hundred acres of land and the same old talk-the-talk not walk-the-walk has continued ever since. At least ruthless dictatorships and wacky genocidal regimes are honest.
Therefore, I had few qualms about throwing a few dollars at the least-worse-option candidate, as the end justifies the means… For those wondering how I did it: I simply gave an American friend some money (randomly!) who then – coincidently – happened to donate the exact same amount to Mr Obama. And I recommend you do the same!