Timothy Garton Ash on the US elections:
“From my observation perch in Stanford, California, an English European turned 24/7-cablenews-Webcast junkie, I notice that many Americans still suffer from a touching delusion that this is their election. How curious. Don’t they understand? This is our election. The world’s election. Our future depends on it, and we live it as intensely as Americans do. All we lack is the vote.
“The world may not have a vote, but it has a candidate. A BBC World Service poll, conducted across twenty-two countries this summer, found Barack Obama was preferred to John McCain by a margin of four to one. Nearly half those asked said an Obama victory would “fundamentally change” their perception of the United States. And it certainly needs changing. Over the two terms of President George W. Bush, the Pew Global Attitudes Project, a series of worldwide public opinion surveys, has documented what anyone who travels around the world knows: a substantial fall in the standing, credibility, attractiveness, and therefore power of the United States. . .”
A Fateful Election: Russell Baker, David Bromwich, Darryl Pinckney, Joan Didion, Garry Wills and others on the election in which so much is at stake. In the New York Review of Books.