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Gary Younge
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Feudal Democracy
"The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint," wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in his classic nineteenth-century treatise
It's up to the superdelegates to prove Democrats believe in democracy
In December, the president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, stood for re-election. Karimov, a one-time ally in the "war on terror" who in 2002 had one opposition leader boiled alive, has long faced criticism from human rights groups and the United Nations. Having already served two terms, he was not even eligible to stand. A minor detail for a man like Karimov. His three opponents all endorsed him and did not ask Uzbeks to vote for them. Those who would not endorse him were disqualified and imprisoned. Karimov won the day with 88.1% of the vote.
Polls and pundits
During the entire week that ended January 19 I must have vox-popped 50 people in South Carolina and I never met a McCain voter. McCain won the state with 33% of the vote. The next week I interviewed even more people. Most said they would vote for Obama, but most spoke highly of Clinton. Obama won in a landslide.
In this great meritocracy, only one thing matters: who is your daddy?
The web of wealth and family connections that has levered Bush to power and has since characterised his administration is an indictment of America's political culture. "George W Bush was named [after] a father who excelled at everything," argued Bush Jr's former speechwriter David Frum. "He tried everything his father tried - and well into his 40s, succeeded at almost nothing."
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