When news filtered through that Julian Assange’s plea to the Swedish court of appeal to revoke an arrest warrant that has been out against him for a good part of four years had failed it was not long before the internet was abuzz with comment and critisizm from both sides of the ego rich Assange’s fence. Supporters of the Australian leaker feigned shock that these trumped up charges were to be upheld and that the extradition notice would stand, they maintained their stance that the charges based around some fateful sexual interludes that Assange undertook whilst in Sweden were nothing more than a weak excuse to get their man to return to the land of ice and snow where he would be swiftly transported to the hate filled shores of the United States and surely a cosy corner in Guantanamo. Assange afterall was to America what bin Laden had been previously, enemy number one, and they would do whatever it took to get their hands on the spindly Aussie.
As America scrambles to adjust to the new found power of the Republican party, the rest of the world can look in like a curious child peering into a candy shop, with a mixture of wondrous excitement at the color and razzle dazzle of what is on display, and horrified disgust when we see what goes into making the whole machine tick. The United States is the self proclaimed doyen of democracy, the land of the free and the beacon to all who strives for greatness. It is brash, bold and proudly straight forward but behind the lights and cameras is a country that is at war with itself. A country that is more about special interests and self interest than the interests of the whole. It is a country where the big issues can be hijacked by the wealthy who profit from blind eyes being turned. Where partisanship and short term victories are more important that the bigger picture.
This self interest and complete disregard for science or fact often creates rather amusing anecdotes, when you remove the rather frightening implications that these things are being said by people charged with steering the ship, particularly when viewed outside the bubble of American partisanship. The mere fact that some of these things can be said in public and these people people can not just remain in their jobs but actually flourish in them is, to be fair, quite incredible in itself.
So sit back and enjoy a taste of the beauty of American politics!