I am staying up to watch the US election results. It probably won’t be decided until 4 or 5am UK time, but I wouldn’t miss it. The early results are good. I’m not optimistic that Obama will bring great changes – even if he really wanted to, the system would make it very difficult. I doubt he will seriously address the basic problem of growing economic inequality. But still, it’s important to me to see Americans voting for something good for a change. After 9/11, when I lived there, fear was so dominant in the public discourse. Fear and anger. That’s basically been the McCain campaign’s strategy this year, to tap into the deep, deep pools of fear and anger across the country, particularly among rural and suburban white voters. Of course it has worked with some people, which is why the election is even still vaguely up for grabs. There are many people who believe Obama is a socialist terrorist who is a radical Muslim and also influenced by his radical Christian pastor. The attempts to ramp up the fear have been intense, and for Americans to reject that would be a big step. I would be really happy for them. It’s also amazing that after 220 years of white men, we might finally have someone different in charge. Still, don’t want to jump the gun. Will go back to CNN with my fingers firmly crossed.

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