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Last update: February 7th 2008

The 2008 election takes place on November 4th 2008 when Americans will choose their next president. He – or she – will become the most powerful person in the world, so it will affect everyone.

Here are the top candidates from the two main parties as of February 7th 2008 according to Gallup:

Democrats (left of centre)

  • Hillary Clinton – senator from New York and wife of Bill Clinton, president during the 1990s.
  • Barack Obama – first-term senator from Illinois. He is young and black, but he is honest, charming and brave – and knows how to give a good speech.

Republicans (right of centre)

  • John McCain – a senator from Arizona. Was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam war. Prides himself on his straight talk.
  • Mike Huckabee – former governor of Arkansas. Favoured by the Christian right.

By February 7th Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney had dropped out.

In the summer the parties hold their conventions. That is when they choose who they want to run in November. The candidate who arrives at the convention with the most delegates will win.

But how do you get delegates? By winning votes in the state primary elections and caucuses. They take place from January to June. Each state has its own rules, but roughly speaking you get one delegate for every 7,000 people who vote for you.

The primaries and caucuses, state by state:

  • January
    • 3rd: Iowa
    • 5th: Wyoming (R)
    • 8th: New Hampshire
    • 15th: Michigan
    • 19th: South Carolina (R), Nevada
    • 26th: South Carolina (D)
    • 29th: Florida
  • February
    • 5th: California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado, Alabama, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Kansas (D), Arkansas, Utah, West Virginia (R), New Mexico (D), Idaho (D), North Dakota, Delaware, Alaska
    • 9th: Lousiana, Kansas (R), Nebraska (D)
    • 10th: Maine (D)
    • 12th: Virginia, Maryland, DC
    • 19th: Washington, Wisconsin, Hawaii (D)
  • March:
    • 4th: Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont
    • 8th: Wyoming (D)
    • 11th: Mississippi
  • April:
    • 22nd: Pennsylvania
  • May:
    • 6th: North Carolina, Indiana
    • 13th: West Virginia (D), Nebraska
    • 20th: Kentucky, Oregon
    • 27th: Idaho (R)
  • June
    • 3rd: New Mexico (R), South Dakota, Montana

Behind the scenes each candidate is madly trying to raise as much money as possible. Most of this money goes to pay for ads on television, the only way to reach huge numbers of voters.

Where and when the conventions will be:

  • August 25th to 28th: Democratic Convention in Denver
  • September 1st to 4th: Republican Convention in Minneapolis

At the convention the winner picks his vice president. In September and October the two candidates go head to head. Then on the first Tuesday in November Americans vote for president.

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Republican

GOP-buttonThe Republican Party (1854- ) is the largest right-wing political party in America. The Republicans and Democrats have been the two chief parties in the country since the 1860s. In pictures the party is represented by an elephant.

The party is also known as the GOP, short for “Grand Old Party.”

The Republican Party is similar to the Tories in Britain and the Christian Democrats in Europe, but more to the right.

Famous Republican presidents include Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and the current president, George W. Bush.

The Republican Party represents business interests and the religious right. It is favoured by white people who are either well-to-do or go to church regularly.

They might seem like strange bedfellows, but both want to put a brake on social change. Also, Republicans use issues of religion and race to get working and middle-class White Christians to vote against their class interests – the Southern Strategy.

In general, Republicans believe in lower taxes, smaller government and slow to no social change. Things are fine the way they are. The 1950s were even better. Not to mention the 1880s.

More government is not the answer to the nation’s troubles, except in times of war. The government has too many rules and its taxes are too high.

Republicans favour a strong military — not to change the world or to rule it, but to defend the country’s interests when necessary. They do not trust the United Nations.

The neoconservatives (neocons), who ran foreign affairs in the years after 9/11, are the exception rather than the rule in Republican circles. Neocons say they want to use American power to bring freedom and democracy to the world. The ongoing disaster in Iraq has discredited them.

Another exception: even though Republicans are generally against social change, they freed the slaves in the 1860s – the greatest social change the country has ever known. But even then their original aim was not to free slaves but simply to keep the number of slave states from growing. But once a Republican became president, it led to war and things spun out of control.

The money for the Republican Party comes from business, the votes from the religious right.

These days almost any white person who goes to church regularly is a Republican. Yet it is only in the last 30 years that Jesus has become a Republican, as they say.

What happened?

Since the 1980s the Democrats have openly favoured laws many Christians see as immoral, like the right to kill unborn babies and the right to same-sex marriage (or something very close to it). Democrats may see this as social progress, but to most serious Christians it is just plain wrong.

This is partly how Democrats lost the South, a place where most people still take religion seriously. In the 1970s the South was a Democratic stronghold, but now it is a Republican one.

It is also part of why the Republicans have gained so much ground over the past 12 years.

– Abagond, 2006.

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AllahTube – YouTube. She calls it this because they removed a video of hers, “Then, They Came” because it was an offence to some, presumably Muslims. Meanwhile YouTube does not remove jihadist videos.

Asian – someone born and brought up in Asia. It is not like being Jewish where if your mother is Asian you must be Asian too.

barking moonbat – far left. See moonbat.

BDS – “Bush Derangement Syndrome”. A disorder in which one
opposes Bush out of mere hate and not for reasons of any substance.

dhimmi – (pronounced “dimmy”) a coward who is afraid to say anything bad about Muslims out of fear of bad Muslims. Example: “YouTube, you’ve gone dhimmi!” See AllahTube.

Dhimmicrats – Democrats who are dhimmi.

fauxtography – a picture which has become a lie because it has been put with the wrong news story or changed on a computer. For example, after Israel attacked Beirut, smoke was added to one picture to make the attack seem worse than it was.

Malkin herself fell foul of this when her head appeared on the body of another woman in a picture on wonkette.com. It seems to show her in her youth when she was wild and easy. It appeared in left-wing blogs a day after she wrote about how American society teaches immodesty to girls as young a 11.

Islamophobia – a mental disease suffered by the politically incorrect and other backward sorts. Sufferers lose all sense of reason and fear being beheaded or blown to bits by Muslims. They do not see that Islam is the Religion of Peace.

Islamophobe brigade – those who attempt to shame others into silence about the evils of Islam by calling such thoughts “Islamophobia”.

jihad – holy war in the name of Islam. It is a real war. It is not about an inner war against sin to become a better person: it is about cutting off heads and blowing Americans to bits.

jihadist – a Muslim who is fighting a holy war against the West. It is what The Economist would call an “Islamist”.

Lan astaslem – Often in her blog you will see something written in large, Arabic letters. It says “Lan astaslem” which is Arabic for “I will not submit”. It means that she will not give in to fear of Muslim violence and be silenced.

moonbat – left wing; someone who has lost all touch with reality. They sometimes caterwaul.

MSM – short for “Mainstream Media”: the large, established news operations, like the New York Times, the Associated Press, Reuters and so on. They are controlled by the left, so much so that the news is twisted by them to serve the left. Blogs, even her blog as large as it is in terms of readership, is not part of the MSM.

Muslim rage – how the Muslim world seems to be easily angered, even violent, when someone in the West says anything bad about it.

Religion of Perpetual Outrage – Islam. See Muslim rage.

unhinged – losing all sense of reason, especially when emotion takes its place. She wrote a book about how the left is becoming unhinged. Some on the left, in turn, think that Malkin herself is unhinged.

unhinged fever swamps – a place where unhinged ideas are born.

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Michelle Malkin (1970- ) is a right-wing American political writer and all-round capitalist running dog. She has one of the most read political blogs in the world (michellemalkin.com), making her one of the chief voices of the American right on the Internet. She is a strong supporter of President Bush, the military and the war in Iraq.

At least some on the left seem to see her as an Asian woman with a loud, angry mouth who has nothing of substance to say. While she does freely call people names, her arguments do have serious substance.

She likes to point out the faults of the left. She has little patience for political correctness and does not mind getting people angry at her. That makes her a delight to read even if you do not agree with her.

Her blog, surprisingly, is a good place to get American news if balanced with something like the New York Times. The two together are far better than either alone.

She sees the left as brainless and out of touch with reality. She calls those on the left “moonbats” and those on the far left “barking moonbats”. She does not trust them to defend the country (they are cowards) or even to tell the truth.

Her blog is full of examples of how the press twists the truth to serve the left. If you doubt the left controls the American press, read her blog.

While she knows there are peaceful, sensible Muslims, she says there are all too many Muslims bent on destroying America in the name of Islam. She sees it as a serious threat that has to be squarely faced, not something to cover over with politically correct noises.

Like George Bush, Pat Buchanan and Anne Coulter, Malkin is a Christian, and not just in name only: it colours her view of the world and makes her feel certain of her opinions.

Malkin does not like being called “Asian” or “Filipina”. She is American, for goodness sake, and proud of it. Her parents are from the Philippines, but she was born and brought up in America. She is no less American than, say, the “European” Frank Sinatra or the “Jamaican” Colin Powell, both of foreign parents.

In her book “In Defense of Internment” (2004) she argues that the American government was right to send Japanese Americans to live in prison camps during the Second World War. She says that given what the government knew then (and not what we all know now) and given that it was at war with Japan, it made the right decision. To some this makes her a disgrace to her race.

Nezua the Unapologetic Mexican says of her:

Michelle Malkin, the Queen of Colorblind, has successfully become White®, at least temporarily. At least until she pulls her own type of Gonzales, and is reminded that her Whiteness was only an honorary award, one that not even marrying a White man, becoming a Brown-hater, and getting cozy in Bethesda, MD can make permanent.

– Abagond, 2006.

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