The Washington Post

Not right-wing enough for the Brits

A junior producer from the “Today” program — the BBC’s most-listened-to morning radio talk show — called me a few hours ago to find out, in the most delicate, tasteful and elegant way possible, whether I was sufficiently “right wing” to be interviewed on tomorrow’s post-election program. Since the other person on this particular segment of the program is supposed to be the British historian Simon Schama, and since, as the producer put it,  "we know where HE stands," it seems that she and the other producers were hoping I would take the other view.  

I did my best. I vote Tory in the U.K., I told her. I’ve long written for conservative newspapers in Britain. I used to vote Republican, too, but Sarah Palin put me off the Republican Party four years ago, and I was horrified by this year's Republican primary.

While I do very much hope the next U.S. president reduces the deficit, I’m not totally convinced that Mitt Romney’s fiscal conservatism is real. As I talked, I could hear the producer’s interest fading. “Yes,” she said, “I’ll be in touch.” She hasn’t been. Can’t wait to find out who, if anyone, made the cut.  

Anne Applebaum writes a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. She is also the Director of the Global Transitions Program at the Legatum Institute in London.


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