Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 21 August 2004

Why I don't comment on US politics during election years

The current controversy over the role Senator John Kerry played during his time in Vietnam, and his activities after he returned back to the US, illustrates perfectly why I have declined to get involved in comment about US politics, most specially during Presidential election years, although outwith those periods I have risked a comment from time to time.

Trying to get at the truth of what happened in Vietnam way back in the late 1960s is hampered by people's differing memories, and perhaps also their emotions following some of Kerry's actions both there and following his return to the US. Apart from that, I must also say that whilst I am interested in what goes in the US (it is after all of major importance quite often in our own domestic scenario here in the UK), my interest in the minutiae of what goes on there goes only so far; life is far too short and however important the US may be, I have a life to lead and not all of it is in any way affected by that country. In addition, much of this current controversy seems to be fuelled by partisan views (on both sides) which have little to do with the ostensible matter being discussed.

Now that I've written all that, the reason for this post is that my attention has been drawn to a very interesting article in The Washington Post which seeks to try and garner as much evidence as is available about key periods of Kerry's time in Vietnam and to collate it in such a way that some kind of 'objective' view becomes possible when considering the contentions of the pro- and anti-Kerry factions, and Senator Kerry himself. The writer of the article does not conclude that he has entirely succeeded in disentangling the multiple versions of events then, but his article does seem to present its evidence in what looks like a reasonably dispassionate manner, something that is unfortunately sadly lacking in much of the commentary from both sides. (thru An Englishman's Castle)

Realistically all I can do as a non-US citizen is wait patiently until the results of this year's Presidential election become clear; we will have to live with the consequences whatever they are. It seems to me that both of the major political parties there have had both successful and inadequate (for various reasons) incumbents as President. I do have views on both the contestants this time around, but they shall remain private until after the results are in. My comments after the last Presidential election are here (in the comment area of my main website, as I hadn't begun this blog then); they are of no value whatsoever, I assure you, in ascertaining what my views are this time around.

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