Americans: Do Us Brits a Solid and Elect Lincoln Chafee as Your Metric-Loving Prez

By James O Malley on at

The next American Presidential election is still 17 months away but the race is already hotting up.

The Republican race for Presidential nomination especially looks set to be a scorcher - when measured in both Fahrenheit and Celsius: Presidential candidates include former Texas governor Rick Perry, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former surgeon and Eminem fan Ben Carson, and a whole clown car worth of crazies. It is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

On the Democratic side... it is going to be Hillary Clinton. Yes, she has the small matter of primary elections to get through, but that is essentially a box-ticking exercise. It is going to be Hillary. Though that hasn't stopped a handful of other Democrats from throwing their hats into the ring, missing it completely and landing on a great big pile of irrelevance. Martin O'Malley joined the Democrat race, to shrugs of the shoulders, and genuine, actual socialist Bernie Sanders is standing - though he has far too many sensible opinions to actually become President.

And then there's Lincoln Chafee, the former governor of tiny Rhode Island. If you're going to challenge a powerhouse like Hillary Clinton, you need a big idea that will cut through and make some noise. And Chafee might have just found it: He wants America to go metric.

America is, astonishingly, one of only three other countries that opts for imperial units. The other economic powerhouses that sit alongside America? Umm, Myanmar/Burma and Liberia.

Chafee told CNN that he wants America to be "more internationalist", so being able to figure out how much stuff actually weighs when on holiday is probably a good start. "Let's be bold -- let's join the rest of the world and go metric,", he apparently said at his launch, arguing that it would be a "symbolic integration".

American politics is famous for its vicious attack adverts during elections - so it is easy to imagine what they could make against Chafee. In 2004 Democratic candidate John Kerry was on the receiving end of dog-whistle attacks for being "too European", because he was able to speak French... So if Chafee is serious about his campaign, then he needs to get ready for Republicans measuring everything in "freedom inches" and "freedom litres".

In fact, there's probably already at least one crazy, regressive Republican planning to pledge to bring back measuring distances in cubits (the distance between the Pharaohs' elbow and middle finger), just to spite him. Good luck, Chafee, the rest of the world will be hoping that you can go the (kilometre demarcated) distance.

Image Credits: Wikipedia.

[CNN vis Giz US]