As America's government prepares to take a sudden and historic leftward turn, this might seem an odd moment to ponder what a conservative country it is.
On Wednesday morning, unless the political equivalent of a giant meteorite hits Earth before then, Democratic supporters in America, in happy union with almost the whole of the civilised world, will be singing hosannas to the new President-elect. They will expect the Obama proto-administration and the expanded Democratic caucus in Congress to press hard to implement quickly their agenda of wealth redistribution; a tougher and broader scope of government regulation; and an enthusiastic embrace of foreign policy multilateralism.
But the new rulers and their allies overseas would be well advised to tone down the rhetoric, play down expectations and rein in their wilder tendencies. The easiest mistake for the world to make would be to start believing the Left's own propaganda: that a vote for Barack Obama and for a Democrat in Congress on Tuesday is a vote to transform the country into a kind of social democratic paradise.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Gerard Baker in the Times of London: