I am going to stick my neck out and wade into the debate. Being a foreigner, I feel that the next American President is someone who will not only affect the lives of Americans, but all of us across the pond and the rest of the world as a whole. His policies (unfortunately it will be a he as women are not equally represented in American politics) will shape this decade and his domestic and foreign policies will reverberate throughout the world, just as the next leader of China will affect us in economic terms (in all probability).
Getting back to the wading in, okay, I admit it, I am an Obama supporter. The reason why I am an Obama supporter is not because I believe in his policies as much as I believe that Mitt Romney doesn’t have a leg to stand on, especially after his most recent, supposedly private, speech. Moreover, I have had enough of Obama bashing by Fox and others. He was, in all fairness, handed one hell of a job to do by his predecessor, George W and to be able to pick up some of the pieces and move on has taken its toll on him (see his white hair for starters).
And with that I move swiftly onto some more Obama-bashing from Newsweek. Alex Hern of The New Statesman voices interesting opinions on Niall Ferguson’s recent Newsweek Cover Story, “Niall Ferguson: Obama’s Gotta Go.” Hern was initially polite when he said in his article, “The economic historian penned a cover-piece for Newsweek which doesn’t show the best grasp of his subject.” However, his exasperation becomes more evident as the article progresses, and rightly so.
Niall Ferguson, Professor at Harvard, author of incendiary articles and tomes and loved by many as the person who brought understanding to the masses in his “The Ascent of Money”. Being a Harvard Professor immediately gives him the gravitas we expect from such august company and immediately we, the masses, believe what we read, after all he is a respected academic, often seen on television and writing for “good” publications n’est pas?
Ferguson reminds me of a charlatan, albeit an educated and erudite one, though charlatans were always erudite, otherwise they wouldn’t be charlatans. He loves the limelight (nothing wrong with that), self-promotion through fanciful sound bites, and despite his understanding of the subject, he appeases the right for his own purposes.
Hern goes on to quote a myriad of other economists and commentators who have questioned Ferguson and had a few too many evasive answers, in this case evasive being the polite term for them. We all know that Ferguson has the ability to tell a good tale – being on bestseller lists all over the world is case and point. However, does he really care about the impact of such blatant lies or is he, as usual, more interested in grabbing the headlines?
I will leave you to ponder that question; however, I will say this: Charlatans go a long way, always have, always will…