Dissent Of The Day

A reader writes:

I’m baffled by your glee at Boris Johnson’s victory in London. You say Johnson couldn’t survive US political life as if that were a bad thing, but it wouldn’t take “swift boating”, the seemingly authoritative dissemination of mistruths, to derail his campaign. Johnson’s a thug who used his position as a journalist to help old friends violently settle scores; he’s an anti-Muslim bigot who claims the problem in Britain isn’t Muslim extremists, but Islam itself; he’s a racist who writes of Africans’ “watermelon smiles” and throws around the word “piccaninnies”; he’s a homophobe who says same-sex marriage is indistinguishable from bestiality.

As someone who supports Barack Obama, a candidate whose own biography and positions combat the notion of a clash of civilizations and who attempts to transcend the ugliness of America’s racist past, how can you also support Johnson? Were BoJo an American politician he’d be the very type of right wing blowhard you’d be criticizing for his corrosive bigotry. I get that you knew him in college, but does that really make everything okay?