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[Political]GW

 
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Speaking with my buddy Sriraj this weekend brought up an interesting question:
Why is it that George W Bush is generally very popular with Americans, and at the same time generally not popular overseas?
I have my own theories on this of course, but was interested in what others thought.
 
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He doesn't appear neither dignified, nor too intelligent. And he's a rich kid.
Such a guy in the world's most mightiest position isn't likeable to potential victims
I guess for the us-americans he is someone who puts one's money where one's mouth is*
*my dictionary says this, hope it fits
[ June 01, 2003: Message edited by: Christian Baron ]
 
slicker
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Why is it that George W Bush is generally very popular with Americans
Remember that Al Gore won the popular vote. George Dub eventually won their hearts. He courageously campaigned during the mid-term Senate elections and the GOP picked up seats, as opposed to Bill Clinton campaigning for the Dems. Had the GOP lost seats it would have been a real disaster for him. The country spoke...
I think Bush comes across as a regular guy. Maybe Bill Clinton proved that being smart is not enough.
 
Jason Menard
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The way I see it, what many Americans as an asset for GW is the same reason he is disliked outside the US. That is, he is plain spoken, pretty much says what he means, and does what he says. More of a "cut to the chase" kind of person.
 
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europeans generally don't believe that someone who works for a lot of years in politics "says what he means". I think lots of americans neither believe in the open hearted simplicity of Bush. We think its a trick to sell his politics to voters in Maryland.
For example Norman Mailer heavily mistrusts Bush too, and he is american.
Also europeans have lots of problems with Bushs form of openly displayed religiosity. Newspapers here tend to write that Bush believes he is on a divine mision. I think they exagerate a little. We are afraid of that. Europeans tend to see americans as in danger of becoming fanatics in religious questions. Remember that Scientology is prohibited here.
We have politicians with a deeply rooted believe in god. But its strictly seperated from their role as politician. Religion is a strictly private thing.
 
Chris Baron
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pretty much says what he means, and does what he says


that's what i meant with my translated saying, with emphasis on 'does'... got worried if the proverb hasn't a aftertaste of corruption in english, what i didn't try to express at all!
<edit>
A statesman shouldn't say a sentence like "Be with us, or be against us"... that's a facistoid impertinence for everybody who's not 100% with him and not against the US.
</edit>
[ June 01, 2003: Message edited by: Christian Baron ]
 
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To recap my earlier response to Jason:
It is my sincere belief that GW Bush is not popular as a global leader because of the following.
1. Lets admit it! The president of the US is not just the leader of America, he is the leader of the free world. And also has the authority to decide who joins the free world (as in the case of Iraq) And with this perspective having GWB in power is scary for many outside of America because many simply cant handle his crudeness (read frankness if you're a GWB supporter). Clinton was able to do pretty much the same thing that GWB is doing now, he bombed the daylights out of Iraq, he attacked Bosnia and Somalia without UN approval. He had pretty much a similar foreign policy BUT the difference is that he could do all of this without having Americans hated all around the world or having them killed all around the world.
Anyone can become a leader and be brutally frank, but thats not what you elect a leader for.
A leader is not supposed to move his people to where they want to be, but where they ought to be. And that is best accomplished with a leader who can shift them there with least resistance.
2. I would personally like GWB a lot more if he got rid of the power broker circle that surrounds him in the form of Rummy and Cheney. I think he will become the most popular president if he dumped Cheney and chose Powell as his VP in 2004.
It is my opinion that he is being brutally manipulated by the powerful power brokers in Washington. Like Nixon had Spiro Agnew as a vice president in his first term because he knew that as long as a nutcase like Spiro was the VP no one would want to dislodge him from power.
3. Honesty and straightforwardness arent required qualities for a politician. It definetly is desirable but there come moments in any politicians life when honesty isnt the best policy. Let me reiterate, I'm not justifying dishonest politicians but I feel GWB could have stated that he merely disagress with Kim Jong-il of N.Korea instead of calling him a "pygmy"
 
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I think he's not popular overseas, because the world is leery of the position the US has acquired. I wonder if he'll be able to translate his popularity into votes. Are you better off than you were in November 2000?
 
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His popularity is america is how he can deal with the unemployment rate in america.
If he cannot deal with it He will definitely loose popularity in america.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Menaka gangamavari:
His popularity is america is how he can deal with the unemployment rate in america.
If he cannot deal with it He will definitely loose popularity in america.


First off let me say that unemployment is not that bad in the US. The overall unemployment rate in 2/2003 was 5.8%, and is likely somewhere around there now. Contrast that with countries like France and Germany which are pushing 10% unemployment.
Secondly, a common hope among the Democratic Party and supporters is that the American voter thinks that the single most important factor in the next elections will be the economy. The reality though is that as long as their are nuttcases overseas blowing things up, then it is likely that the number one issue will be security/foreign policy. If that is the case, the Republicans will win again.
This is why the Dems are doing everything they can to try to shift the debate away from overseas and towards the economy. Unfortunately for them, it seems most people are willing to take a hit in the wallet if their overall safety is maintained. I predict the events of 9/11 will effect the polls for some time still.
Of course the other thing the Democrats have to do is field a viable candidate, and so far it looks like that isn't going to happen.
 
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Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram:
Let me reiterate, I'm not justifying dishonest politicians but I feel GWB could have stated that he merely disagress with Kim Jong-il of N.Korea instead of calling him a "pygmy"


I missed the "pygmy" insult in the news, but on hearing it now I am very entertained. Kim is obviously a borderline pyscho egomaniac, and North Korea's antics/theatrics recently have been from the theatre of the absurd. Perhaps after such an insult Kim will think twice before continuing with his insane provocations and statements. I mean, look at the guy, see that hairdo; he is vulnerable to all types of insults and if he doesn't pipe down ole GW is going to let lose with a whole lot more entertaining ones that I look forward to
 
Paul McKenna
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The repubs might have a problem if the Dems field Lieberman. Cos any personal attack on Lieb would be called anti-semitic and would do more harm to the Repub image. Secondly Joe is also known as one of the conservatives amongst the Democratic party which might go down well with the American public.
 
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Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram:
The repubs might have a problem if the Dems field Lieberman. Cos any personal attack on Lieb would be called anti-semitic and would do more harm to the Repub image. Secondly Joe is also known as one of the conservatives amongst the Democratic party which might go down well with the American public.


Except you have to run to the left to win a Democratic primary. Joe is way behind and doesn't have a realistic shot at winning the nomination.
 
Paul McKenna
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To the contrary, I think the Dems have no choice given their showing in the mid-term elections. They will have to post a candidate who fields a little to the right in order to have any chance at all.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram:
Secondly Joe is also known as one of the conservatives amongst the Democratic party which might go down well with the American public.



Lieberman has a whiny, weak voice. Americans want a projection of authority and power, especially during this War against Terrorism. He has no chance what so ever...
 
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Why is GWB unpopular overseas? Because of how he comes across in the press and on TV, and because his administration's politics are under world scrutiny. And of course the war in Iraq.
More specifically he is seen as dumb (because of the way he speaks and the way he looks), too overtly Christian and moralising, a hawk, someone who doesn't respect international law or treaties, someone who over-simplifies complex world issues into right and wrong, and is prone to scary fallacy (eg. the "with us/against us" comment).
Also remember that European, worldwide and US politics are very different. If you don't agree with someone's politics its easy to dislike the person (especially if they're a politician), even if they'd make the best neighbour in the world.
Alot of these points could be levelled against most politicians, however with all that's happened in the past three years GWB hasn't been out of the world's media eye. This in itself probably leads to greater criticism.
You could argue till the cows come home about whether its justified or not, but that's how I see him being portrayed.
 
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Why is GWB unpopular overseas? Because of how he comes across in the press and on TV, and because his administration's politics are under world scrutiny. And of course the war in Iraq.
More specifically he is seen as dumb (because of the way he speaks and the way he looks), too overtly Christian and moralising, a hawk, someone who doesn't respect international law or treaties, someone who over-simplifies complex world issues into right and wrong, and is prone to scary fallacy (eg. the "with us/against us" comment).


I second that!
- manav
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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I see GWB on the TV today. He off wasting our time trying to settle the Arab Israeli thing. I'm going to share Sharone's skepticism that this round will do much. And as far as trying to look like a world statesman and divert attention from the prolonged US economic malaise, GWB is a better politician than he is a problem solver.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
I see GWB on the TV today. He off wasting our time trying to settle the Arab Israeli thing. I'm going to share Sharone's skepticism that this round will do much. And as far as trying to look like a world statesman and divert attention from the prolonged US economic malaise, GWB is a better politician than he is a problem solver.


Yet the world, including the Arab world, is demanding that we get involved. This is one of those no-win situations we frequently find ourselves in. On one hand we're accused of being too involved in affairs that affect others, and on the other hand we are accused of not doing enough to solve world problems. So in the end we must do what is in our interest, and it is in our interest that a solution be found to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
By the way, a bunch of Greek lawyers have decided to try to bring charges in the International Criminal Court against Tony Blair for "war crimes". Of course it will go nowhere, but this kind of politically motivated circus act is exactly the reason we choose not to participate in such bodies. It seems our decision to stay out of the ICC has been more than justified.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
More specifically he is seen as dumb (because of the way he speaks and the way he looks), too overtly Christian and moralising, a hawk, someone who doesn't respect international law or treaties, someone who over-simplifies complex world issues into right and wrong, and is prone to scary fallacy (eg. the "with us/against us" comment).


The ability to reduce complex issues down to simpler ones is often a sign of greater intelligence than simply elaborating on the existing complexities and offering absolutely no new conceptual breakthroughs to deal with the problems. Theoretically, a lot of accuracy may be lost in such a simplication process; practically however, the simplication provides a clarity that is very conducive to action that can be applied to problem solving. The cutting of Gordian knots may not be pretty, but it can work. At the very least, inaction is overcome and we find out something that does not work thus increasing the odds of finding something that does.
The claim of being too "overt" seems to be identical to being too "honest" or too "open" or too "forthright". I'll take whatever particles of honesty a politician has too offer without complaint...
Confusing eloquence and intelligence is a common mistake. Confusing looks and intelligence reflects more on the person thusly confused.
The claims regarding international law and treaties depends on the detailed wordings of those laws and treaties , and whether they were fully ratified, their expiration date, etc. Difficult for the average media editorialist to come up with an accurate interpretation although I'm sure their political bias fills in any gaps in their knowledge...
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
...practically however, the simplication provides a clarity that is very conducive to action that can be applied to problem solving.
You might find this article interesting. It suggests something similar to what you're saying though probably not what you had in mind:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,969955,00.html

But snatches of presidential conversation that creep into the American media suggest Mr Bush sees naivete as an advantage that will allow him to cut through the bickering to core issues.


Confusing looks and intelligence reflects more on the person thusly confused.
Don't judge a book by its cover right? If only we could...
[ June 04, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
 
Leverager of our synergies
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"Asked if they had an unfavorable view of the United States because of George W. Bush or a more general problem with America, a majority in Western Europe blamed the president. Nearly three quarters in France and Germany blame Bush, as do two-thirds in Italy and six out of 10 in Britain.
Bush, said Garton Ash, stirred European resentment by "basically giving key allies like France and Germany the feeling that, 'We don't really care whether you're with us or not,'" and in forcing the timetable. "If Bush had given us a few more months of negotiation he could probably have got the Europeans on board," he said.
http://www.iht.com/articles/98398.html.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
"If Bush had given us a few more months of negotiation he could probably have got the Europeans on board," he said.
http://www.iht.com/articles/98398.html.


A few more months while our military forces are out there sweltering, trying to keep them at peak readiness, all the while giving the Iraqis more time to construct their defenses and play other games. Yeah, I'm sure they would have liked us to wait.
 
Paul McKenna
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Ever wondered who's incharge of writing all those crappy speeches for GWB??
1. Axis of Evil
2. Evildoers will be bought to justice
3. Shock and Awe
I think if justice was upto me, I'd shock and awe that speech writer.
Another few flaws in GWB for you Jason:
1. This guy seriously looks like a high school dropout in front of Tony Blair. Tony Blair really rips him apart when it comes to speeches and being a statesman. I think GWB needs to adopt a similar stance to gain more popularity. Ofcourse TB is a son of the House of commons.. and that explains it all.
2. GWB is all set to break the record for being the least travelled president. I mean this president has literally cooped himself up and behaved in a very indifferent manner to the rest of the world. It wouldnt harm his image to travel a bit more and let others really get to know him.
3. He really needs to drop his "Faith based initiatives", "Evildoers", "Moral acts" etc. from his speeches. I mean its allright that he is a christian.. but he doesnt have to advertise it like this all the time.
Whaddaya say??
 
Paul Stevens
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frank davis
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
You might find this article interesting. It suggests something similar to what you're saying though probably not what you had in mind:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,969955,00.html


[ June 04, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]


"Signs have emerged in Washington in recent days that Mr Bush has a strategy for the Middle East, albeit an unorthodox one - naivety." (from URL above).
Reminds me how many years ago I intially put off learning any Java, Perl, CGI, internet protocols, HTML, and web design because I "knew" as a mainframe programmer (COBOL) there were so many layers of daunting complexity. I had seen the 1,000 page books in the bookstore and "knew" anything web related would require a vast expenditure of time. I knew that just as mainframe system programmernig could be so incredibly complex, so could internet programming. I knew I would stumble and stumble hard many times before getting the hang of CGI programming.
Meanwhile, my brother, with zero experience as a programmer or anything IT related, started making web sites. All he had was his naivite and enthusiasm, but it got him much farther and faster than an intermediate level COBOL programmer who was much more aware, in a general sense, of the complexities involved. I've seen others with only degrees in English literature
jump head first into web design and later programming, and establish lucrative web design companies that they are still employed at today.
They made many mistakes, but self-corrected, moved on with simple minded naivite and eventually progressed quite rapidly.
Meanwhile, I saw many more knowledgeable IT pros sit out on the sidelines of the Web boon because
as, one of the reasons, they knew how complex programming could be and didn't want to go through the supposedly tough learning curve.
A simple minded example I know, but there are many examples in the business world where people, ignorant of the dangers and high odds of failure involved, pushed ahead and succeeded. I'm not saying ignorance is the key to success, but just coming back to an earlier theme that sometimes a simple minded approach is more conducive to action, and action, even if involving failure, often leads in the direction of eventual success more quickly than paralyzed inaction.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram:
Ever wondered who's incharge of writing all those crappy speeches for GWB??
...
Whaddaya say??


Maybe you don't get the fact that the crappy speeches are truly reflective of the views president. His communication style is plain crappy and thats part of his essense and his true inner being. You have no basis for complaint; any other type of speech would be inauthentic. I often defend the president, but I truly physically cringe at his presentation style. Yet I accept it and his views as authentic. Authenticity has a certain value in itself. Also, I see the alternatives as less desireable. To avoid more socialism, I'll put up with crappy presentation and some simple mindedness.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
europeans generally don't believe that someone who works for a lot of years in politics "says what he means". I think lots of americans neither believe in the open hearted simplicity of Bush. We think its a trick to sell his politics to voters in Maryland.



Which is it, is Bush truly acting with "open hearted simplicity" which some see as stupidity and simple mindedness in general, or is it all very, very, elaborately, minutely detailed rehearsed and staged peformance performed by a cunningly evil genius?
 
Jason Menard
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1. This guy seriously looks like a high school dropout in front of Tony Blair. Tony Blair really rips him apart when it comes to speeches and being a statesman. I think GWB needs to adopt a similar stance to gain more popularity.
That might gain him more popularity outside the US, but he mainly plays to a domestic audience.
2. GWB is all set to break the record for being the least travelled president. I mean this president has literally cooped himself up and behaved in a very indifferent manner to the rest of the world. It wouldnt harm his image to travel a bit more and let others really get to know him.
To be fair, there have been some pressing issues which have kept him at home. I'm sure there times when security was part of the equation. I suppose it wouldn't hurt him to get out more though.
3. He really needs to drop his "Faith based initiatives", "Evildoers", "Moral acts" etc. from his speeches. I mean its allright that he is a christian.. but he doesnt have to advertise it like this all the time.
I'm not sure many tie these to religion. I know I generally don't. Morals and religion are separate issues. One can be a very moral person without being a religious person. Knowing he does have deep religious beliefs makes it simple enough to cast these in that light though. Still, as someone who really isn't that religious, I can appreciate somebody with strong moral convictions (as long as those morals generally line up with mine of course, I'm sure bin Laden believes he has deep moral convictions as well, just the wrong ones).
As with morals, the concepts of good and evil exist separate from religion as well. So labelling somebody as "evil" isn't a religious judgement. Granted that we all may not have the same definition of good and evil, but I would wager that a fair number of us can pretty easily come to agreement on acts and people that are one or the other.
As far as faith based initiatives, this had nothing to do with any one religion, and would have applied to programs sponsored by groups representing many different religions. Recognizing that much charitable work is being performed by non-profit organizations with religious affiliation that may not have access to the same federal benefits as non-religiously affiliated charitable organizations, I don't see a problem with re-examining those policies. This is what his "faith based initiative" plan would accomplish afaik.
 
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