I’ve been noticing that we have elected a guy that Europeans have a hard time dismissing, even with their often lofty anti-American sentiments (hey, I’ve traveled). Seems Barack could get elected over their own leaders, in their own countries, he’s so popular.
Yet, Europeans don’t expect miracles from him; they just like him and see him doing his best. I mean, he’s a nice person, and he’s obviously humbled by the trust of Americans; he’s not one of those politicians that live in their own special bubbles and say only what they’re ‘supposed to,’ not what they really mean (unless caught without knowing there’s a live microphone nearby.) But, why sooo popular?
He has some cool characteristics, it’s not just that he’s not beholden to special interests, he’s not beholden to special friends (not sure about Tim though) and not beholden to special ideology. Even though I disagree with some of what he’s proposed, I know he’s thinking and he’s thinking his policies will be workable and are our best options.
Of course Barack has a special place in American politics – he’s followed George Bush, the very worst president in my lifetime. That can’t hurt his popularity. I mean, every morning I wake up relieved George isn’t president anymore, and now that we (kind of) know where Cheney was (directing secret assassination teams), I know for sure what I once only suspected (those fools were nuts!!).
Is that enough to account? Maybe, but Barack is also real, could that be it?
Wait, Bush was real – a real creep, and so was Cheney (real evil). They may have been secretive but not much has been secret, they showed themselves (and still do). Barack and my new second favorite girl (after Hillary) Michelle are also real; real nice, real humble, real smart, real good role models. So, it’s not the real part.
Maybe it’s the romance – Barack and Michelle are in love and also like each other, and it shows. But, wait, Ronnie was in love with Nancy, and Europe didn’t love Ronnie (and neither did we, we just didn’t have the internet to show it).
I think it’s that our political class is mainly embittered and nasty, which makes having a normal person as president a very big deal (and I add all the bitter nasty world leaders in this mix, there are few normal world leaders, imo), Having never developed social skills or behaved with dignity in elementary school, (or high school, or college, or law school), our political class grew up being disliked, and it made them nasty. I think we elect people who as kids we wouldn’t play with, and they got even by getting into politics. I mean, what cool kid ever ran for office (after sixth grade)?
Did Newt have friends? George was said to be popular, but he was mostly mean and drunk and feared for his practical jokes. He’s probably the most gratuitously insulting president in my lifetime, not just the very worst. Ronnie was affable, but weird. And he was an actor.
There is also the question of wealth, but I’m not sure that’s the deciding factor. Sure, rich kids behave badly when they’re not taught any better, but Gore was nice, he was just weird, and he was rich. Barack isn’t even weird, isn’t that amazing (a not-weird president?).
Now you may say that Bill Clinton was a great guy, and I agree and Europeans liked him too. His only failing to my mind was that he didn’t follow George the second.
So, I’d like to propose to all the well adjusted kids in school, I mean the nice ones, who lend a helping hand and are nice to their friends, to consider going into politics. And I’d like to propose to voters that we find out about the early childhood experiences of our presidential wanna-bees, cause it’s sure nice having a smart, psychologically normal, president who is only trying to do his best.
And not just that, European leaders are listening to him and want him to like them back. It’s obviously smart for Americans to elect popular people as presidents, cause whether or not it’s fair, popular people often get others to follow them. I mean world popular, by the by, sometimes Americans like nasty stupid people in office (how else to explain Bush and Cheney), so we really do need to check in with the countries we want our president to be able to lead.