Backing a horse is a many-splendoured thing. It takes courage, decisiveness and a nifty notion of knowing how to ride a good thing when it’s crashing into town. That town, these days, happens to be the United States of America while the (non-black) horse happens to be Barack Obama. Everyone who keeps a tightened fist to their chin — whether it be The Economist, The New York Times or even our sister publication, Mint — has endorsed the Democrat presidential candidate.
Coming a few days before elections in the US, the line of those saying, ‘A Daniel has come to judgement’ will grow longer and more boisterous. Barring the prospect of a surprise victory by John McCain, every thinking publication should feel happy and intelligent for not only backing the horse they think will be good for the US — and, by default, the world and the universe — but also for putting their increasingly expensive newsprint on a winner. Such endorsement almost makes us want to cry with joy.
But it’s one thing backing a man when, not unlike in a boxing ring, you have only two contenders. It’s quite another when there is a whole gallery of ladies and gentlemen throwing in their gauntlets. And, in the case of Indian elections, will any publication (barring a few party-sponsored ones) have the gumption to back one single candidate? If Mr McCain wins, the quantum of retribution against ‘Barack’s friends in the press’ is likely to be less severe than if we, for instance, didn’t back, say, a particular party that goes on to win in karma-ridden India. Yes, cowardly, aren’t we?