Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The World doesn't elect America's President.

You know what I just love? Don't answer that (that could lead to a number of crude responses). I love the media's use of polls. The media loves them. Politicians love them. Or, they hate them. If the poll says what they want, they put it on the front page. If it doesn't, it gets put in the classifieds. Well, a recent poll that has no relevance at all says that the people of the world want Obama as President.

First off, just a little FYI to media people who thought that poll somehow mattered, this is an AMERICAN election. In this election, who matters are the AMERICAN candidates, and what the AMERICAN people want. 80% of the French want Barack (This picture of Barack comes from the French magazine Le Monde

Well guess what France, you can have him after the election, if he defects and becomes a French citizen, but for now, we decide. Obviously the percentage is just as high in Kenya, but once again, Kenya is not the US, and neither is Russia, another country that also wants him to be President.

And, if it weren't enough that we have to hear about how the rest of the world wants to run our country, the beleaguered British PM Gordon Brown praised Obama's charisma and economic platforms, in a time when his party is anything but motivated. He claims that he has not endorsed Obama, but in the article that was written by one of his party's junior staffers, there was no mention of McCain. Seems like a 'not so discreet, under the table, while handing the goods to the wrong hands' type of endorsement to me. 

At any rate, while some may argue that the Presidency of the US is a global issue, because we are the world's lone superpower (excluding an emerging China, and a resurgent Russia), the fact remains, that the responsibility and privilege to elect OUR head of state, does still reside in the hands of the American people, and not in the world's hands. It is not the United States of the World. But the United States of America. Now let's stick to the issues, and let America figure out its own domestic affairs (I know we don't always let the rest of the world do it, but if I were president, sovereign states would remain that way under most conditions, and as far as I know the US is a sovereign state).


Anonymous said...

This is Charles Lindbergh-style America Firstism gussied up for 2008... rather like lipstick on a pig!

It seems strange to me that the GOP delights in being hated by, you know, OUR BEST FRIENDS in the world.

Canada. The United Kingdom. France. Our oldest friends are telling us we have a problem, and our response, like the drunks we've become, is to tell them to shove it and continue our self-destructive behavior. That's not politics, that's pathological.

It used to be -- you know, like in THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE -- that we cared about "the decent opinion of mankind."

Not in Mr. Powers' Republican Party, I guess.

Anonymous said...

"a decent respect for the opinion of mankind."

But we all know Jefferson was a euroweenie, French-loving gay Islamo-commie terrorist.

Michael Powers said...

While it's obvious we have problems in this country, it is not so obvious what is the best solution. Many times it seems to us obvious to blame the Presidency, his cabinet, or his party for all of the problems we face during a certain period of administration.

The logic is of course faulty, because the causal factors are many, and hardly have direct correlations. We cannot neglect the fact that we live in a consensual presidential government. That means it is a two party system, and that we do not have a Prime Minister, and it also means we do not have strict party loyalty. What it does mean then is that members of either party can vote as they like, debate as they like, and a lot of times important issues do not get resolved, and conditions stagnate.

Both parties are guilty of bad politics, bad policies, and politicizing issues that do not need to be politicized. Both parties are the root to the problems we currently face. It would be wrong to point the blame entirely at Bush, because he too receives counsel from the Joint Chiefs, the Intelligence community, Lobbyists, as well as members of congress. It also would not be fair to blame the problem squarely on the republican party, because there are different factions and different opinions within it, just as there are in the democratic party. It also would not be fair to blame it on the democratic party, even though they run congress, because of the same reasons.

Having an opinion that regards electing Obama a risk is not self-destructive. Nor is having a similar opinion about McCain. There is inherent risk electing any new official into an important government office.

I submit that the risk is not as high with McCain. And although I wince while saying it I must look at it through a 'pramatiscope.' Or, in other words, I am voting based on what will bring about the most steady outcome, regardless of the opinions of my countrymen, and most certainly regardless of the opinions of citizens of other countries. I am responsible for my own research into the candidates. I must make the most educated decision possible, without being persuaded by polls, hype, and clever rhetoric (of either candidate). I must be persuaded by my moral, and political convictions, and what is best for the country.

Around the world the US makes mistakes, but unlike a majority of nations, our mistakes are legendary. We have made many bad decisions abroad in regards to almost all recent military endeavors. However, now that we have created certain poor conditions, it is our responsibility to remedy them. Good has come of our actions in the form of a democratic, albeit feeble Iraq (which is about middle of the pack now for stable nations), but it has come at the taxpayers expense, when the Iraqis are more than capable now of paying for the costs with their oil revenue largesse. Everyone knows our military is over-extended and at some point will reach a breaking point if we do not carefully reassess our positions and strategies. We have good people on it, and my hope is that we will be able to bring our boys home and regroup.

However, if we are voting primarily on the issue of foreign policy, Obama is quite obviously lacking. I know you would point to McCain's hawkishness, but that is dodging the issue. Obama has no foreign experience. ZERO. And, I don't think it would be wise to allow him 4 years to learn on the job. His switching stances on Georgia, Iraq, and Afghanistan do not inspire confidence. And, although McCain may seem more hawkish, I would argue that he is much more reserved than he has been portrayed by the press, and is far more informed about global issues than Obama.

The world wants Obama not because of his credentials, but because he is a new face, he speaks well, and he can inspire with his charismatic campaigning. However, he has not authored any unique bipartisan legislation, or even partisan legislation that is worthy of notice. McCain on the other hand has created both partisan and bipartisan legislation. He is a centrist. Obama has a far more left-leaning voting record in comparison to any other senator, while McCain has consistently thwarted his party by voting against it and it's right-wing. I don't always agree with McCain, but I admire his willingness to compromise and get things done in a period of time when America really needs to get things done.

Our country is becoming more and more polarized each election cycle. And it is disconcerting. We need more compromise and progress, and less partisan impactos (or stalemates). I am pretty sure Washington would agree with for Jefferson, it was his party that got all this divisiveness started (God bless him, and his illegitimate children).

Madventurer said...

When you say:

¨"let America figure out its own domestic affairs (I know we don't always let the rest of the world do it, but if I were president, sovereign states would remain that way under most conditions, and as far as I know the US is a sovereign state).",

you must consider that the USA typically doesn't let most other states decide their own domestic affairs. The US govt has strings attached to every govt in the world. Because of this maybe there should be a world vote consideration for who becomes your president, because it is a decision that will have affects on all the world. If you think you are operating alone here, just how the US economic issue has spread to become a world-wide issue. Of any nation in the world, the US does not operate in isolation. Economies are linked and your armies are maybe we (the global community) should get a say in who becomes your president.

Also, you realize that we get more objective media coverage. Americans have been bombarded by this election news for 2 years now. The international community can look at it with a fresh eye.

Anyway, just wanted you to consider these points when you are telling the rest of the world to piss off when they are championing their favourites. There is no harm, and only good that can come from it.

Michael Powers said...

The same argument could be made for any country. All governments are linked to all other governments via trade pacts, treaties, the UN, NATO, and other diplomatic and non-diplomatic channels. However, that does not mean that British people deserve to elect the French President, or that the Kenyans should elect the Japanese parliament. There are sovereignty issues with that.

The issue is the same with the US. Just because we are so linked to the world, does not permit non-citizens the right to vote in US elections. I would never ask to for the right to vote in Mexico without having citizenship, and I would expect the same courtesy from Mexicans.

People are allowed to have their opinions abroad about who they'd like to see wielding the power here in the US, but those opinions cannot be translated to actualities unless they are citizens of the US.

Furthermore, while I agree that world news is not as biased abroad as it is domestically (in general reference to the US election), the sources we have are more direct. And, it is possible to read between the lines of sensationalism. Not all media in the US is biased and jaded. Some of it is pretty darn good, and much more revealing about domestic affairs than an outside source from say, Germany.