Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another European Perspective On The Election

Europe and America seem to be united on one dimension.  There is a lack of respect for democracy in both places.  People may have some passion about their favorite party, but democracy is more than running elections.  The people don't feel that they share in decision making.

Europe had high hopes for president Obama after 8 years of George Bush, who was their least liked president since Nixon.  He was a disappointment.  He had little interest in developing relationships with European leaders except when he needed them to help out in the Mid-East, which has preoccupied American foreign policy much more than it has in Europe.  In particular, they don't understand America's bond with the conservative Likud party in Israel.  Nothing has been done in the last 12 years to promote peace between Israel and its neighbors. The Likud party seems disinterested in that process.

The Europeans also have a hard time understanding what has happened to Republican party.  There is no party like the GOP in Europe except in a couple of small countries.  Moreover, there is no party in the US that resembles the socialist parties in Europe.  Republicans like to call Obama a socialist, but he is more like centrist politicians in Europe.  There is no left wing in the US to balance the far right ambitions of the Republican party.  The dialogue is between the far right and the center.

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