Duh, you Americans say. We have a REALLY IMPORTANT election coming up! Donald Trump might become the leader of the most powerful country on the planet!
True, but. In a hundred years’ time, which do you think will be remembered? November 8th, the day the United States dodged a bullet and failed to elect an unstable racist conman to the Presidency? Sam Wang gives the chance at less than 1%. Trump has never led in the polls from the day he announced his candidacy. It matters a great deal to the United States whether the Democrats regain control of the Senate (merely a two-thirds chance), for if they don’t, Clinton’s presidency will be one long constitutional crisis.
No. It will be November 4th 2016, the day the world started to fight back against climate change and swore to abandon its addiction to fossil fuels.
Some uplifting media for you.
David Low’s cartoon on May 15 1940, soon after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. Low being on the left, he put the three Labour leaders, Attlee, Morrison, and Bevin in the front row, ahead of Churchill’s fellow Tories, Chamberlain, Hoare and Halifax. (The solitary woman at the right rear may be MP Nancy Astor.) It was not quite true of course. Churchill’s first major political battle was with Halifax, who wanted to take up a feeler for peace Hitler had put out through Mussolini. Churchill won decisively, with the backing of Chamberlain (entirely disillusioned about Hitler) and backbench Tory MPs. Still Low captured a genuine moment of national unity and determination.
Bell-ringers at All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard, a large ring with 12 bells. For me, the best moment of the London Olympics was when the marathon runners entered the City of London close to the finish, and all the church bells rang out in their honour, but I can’t find a clip. It’s a strange but effective form of music, acceptable to 17th-century English Puritans, with Papist melodies replaced by mathematical permutations. In Dorothy Sayers’ The Nine Tailors, Lord Peter Wimsey unwittingly abets the murder of a victim trussed up in the bell-tower, as his Lordship stands in for a sick village bellringer to ring a full peal of Kent Treble Bob Major, which goes on all night. I would have thought the victim would simply go deaf.
Finally, the President’s speech in the 1996 movie Independence Day, delivered by Bill Pullman. Hokum, but great hokum.