Just around the 100-day-mark of Barack Obama’s Presidency, he is faced with a great challenge and opportunity: naming a new justice for the Supreme Court. Of course, everyone wants to have a say in that.
One of the greatest dangers facing American democracy today is extreme partisanship. The division of public and politics along party lines hinders political discourse and halts social progress at great costs to society. If little else, Americans can agree on that. But, as soon as you ask who is responsible for political bipolarity, people are divided: Fox News or the liberal media, fundamentalist evangelicals or the eastcoast elite, rich republicans or wealthy democrats, SUV drivers or treehuggers.
“Split: A Divided America” is a documentary that shines a light on the roots and consequences of this political divide. While it can’t solve all the problems and leaves the viewer with open questions, there are still some insights to be drawn from it.
As the days of George W. Bush as President of the U.S.A. draw to an end, every part of the transition process takes on historic proportions. Nobody knows how many people will turn out on January 20 to see Obama take over the White House. It will probably be the biggest crowd ever at any Presidential Inauguration, which will also make it the costliest Inauguration ever. We tell you where to watch the celebration in Berlin!
November 4th, 2008. What better place to be on Election Day, than the place they promise to change: Washington, D.C.?
After following this election campaign closely for what seems like forever, we woke up this morning wondering… what will we do with all this newly free time? Suggestions after the jump.
Grand seigneur of the intellectual left in the US, Noam Chomsky has given the Spiegel an interview. He makes it pretty clear that Europeans shouldn’t hope for much from a possible President Obama.
SPIEGEL: “Change” is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you “fired up”?
Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.
SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.
Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.
He has more to say about the state of American democracy and the 2008 elections. Chomsky touches upon the role religion plays for campaign managers, the narrow spectre of choices voters are given and McCain’s honest suggestion that this election really is about personality and not issues, as the Obama campaign claims. The full interview is here.
The US Presidential elections 2008 are historic in many ways – A black man had to beat a woman to claim the nomination of his party, the campaigns already spent more than a billion dollar to persuade voters, the final month of the election coincides with the collapse of the credit markets and the global economic system is threatened in its entirety.
Also, this election is increasingly fought out not on the TV screen or in newspaper editorials and op-eds, but on the Internet – which adds another historic element. German journalist Tobias Moorstedt has travelled the US to find out more about this development and the changes, challenges and criticisms digital campaigns evoke. He touches on all of these questions in his new book and in the following interview with tapmag (you can also read the interview in German on my private blog).
Liberal college-towns favorite filmmaker Michael Moore will make his newest movie “Slacker Uprising” available online for free. The documentary – it’s Michael Moore, what else would it be – follows him on a 62-city tour of the swing states during the 2004 Presidential election and showcases all the excitement and insanity a US Presidential election brings about.
Here’s the trailer.