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Who's going to tell her?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-05-21 08:04:24
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So, who’s going to tell her that it’s over? If you are expecting me to do so, you are in deep trouble first of all because I live on the other side of the Atlantic and most importantly because I don’t have the right to vote in the US elections!

This is something I have written before, of course I don’t live in USA and of course I have no right to support a candidate for the US presidential elections but first of all I have the right in opinion and secondly and I seriously think the way things are and the international role and influence of any American administration is natural for us to show a great interest and feel actively involved in this race for the White House. George W. Bush’ administration changed so many things internationally that made me, whether I liked it or not, become actively interested. I’m not blaming George for my interest in the US elections but I definitely blame all the American politicians with their involvement in my life with forcing me to be involved with their lives!

The reasons for all that I have often explained before are many, house rates going up in California and the milk gets more expensive in my neighbourhood, George W. Bush decides to support bio-fuel and rice disappears from all the local supermarkets, he invades Iraq and I have to pay more taxes for …security reasons, you see we never know when Bin Laden will decide to hit the reindeer in Lapland since we are all American manipulated western bastards for him. And yes there is one darker side, only we Europeans can feel. We are often used from the American administrations for diplomacy or economy and then something small happens and we are becoming …the old Europe! I’m sorry but I find it hard to forget and forgive these comments about new Europe and old Europe and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same.

A lot of Americans often forget that their roots stand with old Europe and the last administration arrogantly ignored the fact that future stands in the cooperation between USA and Europe, a cooperation that stands mainly in equality and not forced respect! Because that’s how it has worked the last few years from the American administrations , especially from the George W. Bush one. We often read surveys in Europe for an increasing anti-Americanism, but if you read carefully these surveys you will find out that Europeans love American products, enjoy American films and TV productions, adopt to many American ways and admire American science; then where is the anti-Americanism? The anti-Americanism stands on the hurt dignity and the last American administration has been a superb talent in this job and managed well globally not only with the Europeans.

This is why we are all so interested in the US elections. Because we want our ally to appreciate and respect us which makes McCain out of question for that role, he has too much of George W. Bush inside him and he scares us. He scares us more than George W. Bush does because he’s not even the original but a cheap imitation; at least that’s how he looks like from the kaleidoscopic distance an ocean puts between us. Hillary, well she looks good from this side. First of all she has Bill and Bill has been a good president and respected old Europe, as a Greek I will never forget when he apologized to the Greek people for the involvement of the them American administration in the dark years of the Greek dictatorship.

A tiny small apology was enough for a whole nation to forget any kind of …anti-Americanism - remember that Greeks have a number of reasons to harbour these feelings after WWII. Bill had to deal with terrorism as well but he never invaded any country based on lies and he never forced European states to give personal information for their citizens respecting human rights and freedom of the individual and their believes. Most of all and that’s something even the Americans have to admit, during his time economy might not blossom but it didn’t endanger the income of everybody like it happens today. So with Bill around, Hillary has one ace.

We Europeans are in a very funny way conservative or modern use what way might serves you, we can accept gay marriage, we can live with the idea of a radical Muslim cleric in our society who’s blessing the terrorist but the same time we are not ready to hold arms with everybody and dance La Bamba! We have learn the hard way that politicians can promise anything just to get the damn seat and Obama makes us feel exactly that, that he’s ready to give us anything we want as long …as long he becomes the next president of the USA. And then it is his brief past, he’s always been so …neutral and never dirtied his hands, avoiding anything that could hurt him personally and his career something Hillary never avoided and that’s something we do appreciate in Europe even if that meant failure and Hillary really dirtied her hands with her health plan the first years of the Clinton administration. Odd, isn’t it? We like more Hillary because of …her husband!

Still the last results on the hunt for the nomination show that Obama is going for a clear victory and Hillary fights in vain. Shouldn’t be perfect if the two of them could come in an agreement with one of them running for president and the other for vice president? For many reasons I have analyzed in an article a month ago I thought the idea of Hillary president with Obama as the vice president would have been perfect and would have led to at least fifteen years democratic presidency but that was a month ago and things have change a lot in the meantime. What remains is to hope that they will not lose the opportunity of make a team that will really bring the change in USA; the problem at the moment is …who’s going to tell her!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-05-21 12:46:49
Nobody is going to tell her, simply because it would be futile, the lady, who some now call “Billary”, is not listening, not even to the party elders. Her boundless ambition compels her to play it out even if it wrecks the party, even if it means four more years of Bush politics. She calls it fighting spirit, a la Rocky…, more likely it is political ambition and stubbornness a la Machiavelli. Is that reminiscent of another president’s egomania? Like Rocky, she intends to play it out thus advantaging Mc Cain who is reaping all the benefits of the infighting from the sidelines. One begins to suspect that there may be a long term strategy involved with an eye to 2012 and with an interest in letting Mc Cain win by default, for now. That sound rather Machiavellian of course, but then since when have politicians on both sides of the Atlantic been beyond Machiavellism and power grabbing? On the contrary, what people sense in Senator Obama is a fresh approach, an inspiring vision of things not as they are but as they should be and could be, not the will to power but the will to truth. Unfortunately Senator Clinton does not understand that vision, she represents the old Machiavellian way of doing things at the top, and that is why it can safely be predicted that Senator Obama will not choose her as vice-president no matter how much she may wish it; to do so would be a contradiction of his vision, a mere expedient ticket put together merely to gain power so that things the more they change the more they remain the same. Here is the paradox: at this point Senator Clinton would be better off becoming the running mate to Senator McCain to better gang up on Senator Obama. That sounds like a joke, but it would perfectly logical in the grand political Machiavellian scheme of things.

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-21 13:00:42
(continued from above)
If there is one reason why Senator Clinton has shown herself to be unworthy of the office of US President it is what she now goes around declaring: that she is the candidate of the poor, downtrodden white workers while Obama is an elitist for the rich and privileged. If one knows how to read between the lines the translation of that notion is this: since 90% of African-Americans have disappointedly abandoned “Billary” and her proud record on civil rights and health care (Bill considers himself the first Black president), in spite I will become the candidate of all the remaining white racists in America who will never vote for an African-American no matter his intelligence and qualifications. If she were really for civil rights and concerned for poor workers (which belong to all races and ethnic backgrounds) she would have repudiated those votes a long time ago. Alas, not only she does not do so, she is courting them.

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-21 13:21:39
(continued from above)

Rumsfeld’s “Old Europe” quip was of course insulting, the way he meant it: the Europe of Hitler and Mussolini and Petain and Franco and Salazar. However, if one is truly searching for an elusive European or Western Civilization’s cultural identity, one will soon realize that what is urgently needed in the EU at this point in time is not a mere new Europe with soccer games and a common bank and a hedonistic Epicurean life-style as cultural glue of sort, nor a mere old Europe nostalgic for the good old days of Ancient Athens or ancient Rome, but a Europe that is “novantiqua,” accepting all that is best in its tradition and not being afraid to repudiate what is worst. Unfortunately, what one observes from this side of the Atlantic is a culture that has wrong-headedly decided to throw the baby out with the dirty bath-water, especially when it comes to religion which, as India demonstrates, not only does not contradict democracy but properly understood could be a powerful cultural glue for diverse nations with diverse cultures.

Alexandra Pereira2008-05-21 16:09:04
US and Europe have no other choice than to reach mutual agreements for global peace purposes. Europe can't be blackmailed, and the US will understand that by themselves. One of our good things is a certain wiseness. One of US's good things is a certain innovation/creativity. But I think we in Europe have managed to balance things better, and are more liberal/tolerant in the end, in a balanced way. History teaches lessons, and that's an advantage. Of course we have our own internal lessons to learn, but in terms of external policy we tend to act more prudently, without the arrogance of the States. Otherwise, we love most american products, films, good ideas and american pragmatism.

Alexandra Pereira2008-05-21 16:11:23
Also, americans know better than anyone how to make business. Long years of know-how. But also business has to be ethical.

Alexandra Pereira2008-05-21 16:19:30
Personally, I love american flexibility, non-snobbishness, pragmatism and sense of oportunity. Also american joy. Who doesn't? I think that even the most radical terrorists might feel seduced by some of your Pop stars or movies, or other good/pleasant/interesting aspects of the culture. I also think americans feel a certain need to be praised, it increases their self-esteem and THAT is the national GLUE too :) But you have to act accordingly, otherwise it becomes illusion ;)

AP2008-05-21 16:30:28
Actually, the US is beginning to understand that Europe can't be blackmailed just now. Respect for the rest of the world will follow, hopefully. Nations are like teenagers when they can't stand their own blames.

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-21 22:45:13
Indeed, nations are like teens unwilling to remember and correct their own blemishes and their own history, warts and all. What I find intriguing every time I go to Europe is to see how pervasive US popular culture is. The problem however is that more often than not it is not the best of that culture that gets imitated but the worst. As a wise man put it once: nations like individuals have to learn to respect and imitated what is best in each other and not be afraid of what is worst. Not to do that is to project and end up in a negative adversarial relationship.

Alexandra Pereira2008-05-22 12:22:27
Of course you should take the best out of another culture, always. But what is the best is relative anyway. It is already good if you take something to enrich yourself in positive ways. Many times, it's also a matter of exporting the best, and not the worst :) Has to do with national bets in this or that aspect of the culture. I love the best in the US and wish that all americans would want to export that. I'm sure they do.

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