US and us
Posted by Polonius on 7 November, 2006
I’ve been following the build-up to the US mid-term elections on various blogs and it’s fascinating how different politics there is from the UK variety. I’ve long known that US politics was quite vicious, but I never really understood how the personal attacks related to policies. In recent years, Labour and Conservative politicians have tried to lower the quality of debate to US levels, but they’ve missed an important factor. In the US, there are policy differences between the two major parties; since Blair turned the Tony party into a clone of the Tory party, all they’ve got to argue about is personalities.
The other thing I didn’t understand about US politics was the importance of religion. In the UK, the influence of religion is more subtle, more insidious. I was surprised to learn that a really significant proportion of Americans actually believe the Old Testament creation story; in the UK, that would count as the lunatic fringe. Obviously I’d heard the term “religious right”, but I had no idea there was such an alignment between the Republican party and these religious nuts.
Knowing what I now know, the story of Ted Haggard is even funnier.