News & Opinion

News

I should have backed Hillary, says Gore Vidal

Publication:
The Times

Date:
September 30, 2009

View:
PDF

Barack Obama is failing as President and the US is in danger of sliding into a military dictatorship, says Gore Vidal, the pre-eminent American essayist and intellecual.

In an exclusive interview with The Times, Vidal, 83, reveals that he regrets switching his allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Mr Obama during last year’s campaign to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I was hopeful,” he said of Mr Obama. “He was the most intelligent person we’ve had in that position for a long time. But he’s inexperienced. He has a total inability to understand military matters. He’s acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism.”

America should leave Afghanistan, Vidal said. “We’ve failed in every other aspect of our effort of conquer- ing the Middle East or whatever you want to call it.” The “War on Terror” was “made up, just like ’weapons of destruction’.”

On Mr Obama’s plan to reform healthcare, he said: “He f***** it up. I don’t know how, because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”

America has no intellectual class and is rotting away at a funereal pace, he believes. “We’ll have a military dictatorship soon, on the basis nobody else can hold everything together. Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is.”