Max Hastings is a respected historian. I don't know who respects him because I certainly don't and if you want to know why, read his latest pile of tripe on the Mail online.
Meet the losers. Take a look at the shrinking band of unhappy, even embittered Americans who plan to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin next week.
I don't know where Hastings learned his trade as an historian from - Mystic Meg, maybe - but normally, historians wait for something to happen before passing judgement on the event. Not Hastings - he's decided the US election has already been won by Obama. Not an entirely surprising viewpoint as Hastings also belongs to the same tribe who have sought to ensure that Obama wins - the media. Personally, I'm still not convinced that there enough people willing to accept a black President just yet - especially one with a background as shady and murky as Obama's - but I'm willing to wait until after the election before claiming I was right or wrong.
Hastings piece is as bigoted and biased a diatribe as you could possibly get in a newspaper. So loaded with value judgements and conservative stereotyping that it wouldn't be out of place on the Independent or Guardian.
These are simple people, most of them decent people, some also angry people.
Most of them decent people? It's amazing that, in his brief time he spent with them, Hastings has got to know them well enough to know that they are simple, decent or angry. Last time I was in a crowd of 5000 strangers I didn't have a clue whether they were decent, simple or not - though there were plenty who were angry. Most of the anger was directed at the chap called "the referee" and, judging by some of the comments, I'd say that there were plenty who were prepared to do murder or worse! But only someone as arrogant as Hastings could assume that in a brief interaction he is thus qualified to pass comment on these people.
His arrogance and bias is exposed when asked why he doesn't like Sarah Palin.
"Are you against her because she owns guns? Is it because she's a woman ? Is it because she's a Christian conservative who says what she thinks?"
No, I said, some of us are just scared that she doesn't have the brains or experience to be President.
That's interesting. Why doesn't he have the same fear about the untried and untested Obama? This is a man who has no real experience, hasn't the brains to realise that associating with known terrorists and vile racists is not a good idea for a politician and is running for a position one notch higher than Sarah Palin - but he's OK?
Hastings piece of garbage is, like most of the media sheep, highly critical of George W Bush's presidency. I know the media have pushed this view of Bush, but his record actually stands up pretty well compared to the likes of Clinton. His main challenge, and pretty much the defining moment of his presidency was the terrorist attack on the twin towers. Since 9/11 there has not been a successful terrorist attack on the USA. Instead the fight has been largely fought, and mostly won, on the terrorists home turf and that is a significant achievement.
McCain has still got the support of the God nuts.
Hmmm - no bias there then?
These include, dismayingly, many senior U.S. Army officers. For years, the U.S. Air Force has been a stronghold of Christian evangelicalism. American soldiers, alas, have caught the same disease.
Oh, so it's only the support of the Christian "God nuts". The Moslem ones - you know the ones who go around blowing up things and beheading people - support Obama, but hey, they're OK as long as they aren't Christian. I don't know why Hastings finds this so dismaying, either. Personally, I'd rather be led by strongly Christian generals than soppy social liberals who run away from the slightest challenge.
To put it bluntly, the Republicans have become the party of America's stupid people. That is not abusive, but a statement of fact.
No, not the least bit abusive, Max. It's the typical belief of progressive liberals who foolishly believe that "nuance" is the answer to every thing. But nuance is a nonsense - because, when it comes down to it, all people really want from a government are the simple things done properly. They don't care if the foreign policy of their leaders is "nuanced" - they just want their nation, their homes and their families kept safe from murdering Moslem "God nuts" with Semtex strapped to their bodies.
Hastings doesn't get this though.
If ....... they choose Obama, they will take a soaring leap into the unknown.
And when push comes to shove, most people will stick with the devil they know rather than the devil they don't. We shall see. One thing is certain, though - if McCain wins it won't be due to the lack of effort by the likes of Hastings to get the vain, shallow and utterly vacuous Obama elected.