Timothy Garton Ash in a panic about the American Election, in the pages of The Financial Times. Political Observer comments

The American Empire can never seem to falter, that a given of Imperial Power. So it can come as no surprise, that Mr. Garton-Ash’s polemic is suffused with the political panic of a Technocrat-crisis becomes the singular rhetorical note of his essay.
This reader left contemplating the fact that the American political system, headed by a bone fide demagogue is facing a very important election. The failure to recognize, that he was produced by an utterly failed political class, committed to the toxic mirage of Neo-Liberalism, remains outside Mr. Garton-Ash’s political grasp. But the position of ‘crisis’ offers the not very soothing balm of:

Democracies everywhere must prepare for the contingency of a contested result in the most important US election in living memory.

Mr. Garton-Ash offers some solutions to the onlookers to the inexorable ‘crisis’:

A calm, considered approach by the world’s other democracies will be most relevant in the “blue shift” scenario. These countries will have thousands of diplomats and journalists on the ground. The US and international media will be reporting this event intensively, and Facebook and Twitter are going to great lengths to stem misinformation. Although the facts will be disputed, that does not mean there will be no facts. A vital task of liberal democracies is to stick to and stand up for those facts.

In doing this, they can rely on an election monitoring mission from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which includes the US in its 57 members. It has conducted some 370 election observation missions over 30 years and has, with US help, developed benchmark best practices for rigour and impartiality. The OSCE mission has just presented an interim report and will hold a press conference in Washington, the day after election day.


This reader approaches Mr. Garton-Ash’s ‘solution’ to this vexing question, with skepticism as mere political analgesic, rather than an actual and viable ‘solution’.

The Supreme Court’s 2000 Coup of Bush v. Gore, was/is both a betrayal of Federalism (State’s Rights) of the Rehnquist/Scalia coterie. And the fact that the Majority declared their decision, in this case, ‘beyond/outside precedent’! In sum it rules itself outside political/legal question. As anyone who has served on an American Jury, or been part of that process knows, judges declare the Court to be ‘above morality’! Even Oliver Wendall Holmes declared that Law was a kind of ‘Public Morality’.

Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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