On Germany's Desire To See America "On Its Knees", And Its "Infantile Crush On Obama"

Tyler Durden's picture

When you strip all the politically correct rhetoric, and the carefully sculpted facade is taken off for the night, this is what remains. Via Germany's most popular financial newspaper Spiegel:

"There is hardly an issue about which Germans as so united as they are by their desire to see America on its knees. It unites both the left and the right. Wherever they look, they see decay, a lack of culture and ignorance. "A perverse mixture of irresponsibility, greed, and religious zealotry".  

...

With a bit of luck, the specter across the Atlantic might even take care of itself. It can't be ruled out.

...

When they are not shooting each other or being fried by dangling power lines then the Americans might simply pop. Two out of every three US citizens are overweight, or even obese! Every child in Germany knows the numbers.

...

For the über-watchful among us, the signs of the downfall are obvious. One must only take a look at the condition of the streets (every fourth bridge is crumbling!), or the entirely outdated power grid, to come to the conclusion that this country has its future behind it. A nation that has its utility lines hanging from poles in the street, instead of burying them in an orderly fashion underground, cannot really be taken seriously.

...

For as long as I can remember, America has been on the decline. Already in the 1970s, the country was doomed, and that was before people like Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush came to power.

...

The childish excitement over Obama, that once again took hold over Germans during this election -- fully 93 percent of the country would have voted for him in this election -- is the flip side of this desire for America's demise. That the Germans, of all people, should see themselves in a black civil rights attorney from Chicago can only be explained by the fact that they see him as the opposite of what they consider to be normal Americans.

...

Superpowers don't disappear over the course of years. It takes decades, if not centuries. As such, the verdict might not arrive for awhile yet. The prophets of doom can continue to hope.

And it gets better - from the official caption of the associated Spiegel photo:

Let the transatlatnic flame wars begin, because the more things change, the more they stay the same.

* * *

Full article:

Explaining Germany's Infantile Crush on Obama

A Commentary by Jan Fleischhauer

German schadenfreude knows no bounds, particularly when it comes to the United States. The country loves to feel superior to a superpower like America. Yet Germany also harbors a childish infatuation with Obama -- one which has little political grounding. The reasons are psychological.

It's too bad that Mitt Romney didn't win. If the Republicans had won, we could finally have known for sure that our suspicion of America's imminent demise is correct. "Four more years," translated into the German viewpoint means little more than a "four-year reprieve."

For the über-watchful among us, the signs of the downfall are obvious. One must only take a look at the condition of the streets (every fourth bridge is crumbling!), or the entirely outdated power grid, to come to the conclusion that this country has its future behind it. A nation that has its utility lines hanging from poles in the street, instead of burying them in an orderly fashion underground, cannot really be taken seriously.

With a bit of luck, the specter across the Atlantic might even take care of itself. It can't be ruled out. When they are not shooting each other or being fried by dangling power lines then the Americans might simply pop. Two out of every three US citizens are overweight, or even obese! Every child in Germany knows the numbers.

There is hardly an issue about which Germans as so united as they are by their desire to see America on its knees. It unites both the left and the right. Wherever they look, they see decay, a lack of culture and ignorance. "A perverse mixture of irresponsibility, greed, and religious zealotry," as my adversary, columnist Jacob Augstein, furiously argued on Monday.

A Blessing to Live in Germany

What a blessing it is, one must conclude, to live in Germany, a country where the highways are regularly repaired and the washing machines use so little water that one could water the entire Sahara with what is left over. In which citizens' initiatives are formed against McDonald's, and two-bit crime dramas are considered the pinnacle of TV entertainment. If the utility poles here were to snap like toothpicks, then it would be the fault of some natural catastrophe, the likes of which would make a hurricane seem like a gentle breeze.

I don't want to sound like a smart aleck, but does anyone remember when, in December 2005, a surprisingly strong winter storm left 250,000 people in the area surrounding Münster without power for days? Münster and its environs do not want to rule the world. But still, it was strange to see the same experts on TV, who two years prior, during a large power outage on the east coast of the US, had given their reasons for why something like that could never happen in Germany.

The criticism of America has always been a bit infantile. One is familiar with the theory from psychoanalysis, when people talk about transference, or when suppressed feelings or emotions are overcome by projecting them onto others. It may work for a while, improving one's feeling of self-worth by devaluing an imagined adversary. But it always falls short. Which is why the ritual must be constantly carried out anew.

For as long as I can remember, America has been on the decline. Already in the 1970s, the country was doomed, and that was before people like Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush came to power. In the meantime, Americans brought communism to its knees, rang in the age of the Internet and revolutionized capitalism several times.

The reality is that a quarter of global wealth is still created in the United States. They still have at their command the largest military power on the globe, and will continue to do so, despite all of the talk of a multi-polar world.

The Infatuation with Obama

Above all, the United States remains the largest chosen destination of millions of people in the world. If they had the choice of where they could live, the majority oddly enough would not choose the German DIN standard for happiness, but life in New York or California, where the potholes are as big as gravel pits. That may make people here want to light as many candles as possible, to pray for the downfall to finally come.

The childish excitement over Obama, that once again took hold over Germans during this election -- fully 93 percent of the country would have voted for him in this election -- is the flip side of this desire for America's demise. That the Germans, of all people, should see themselves in a black civil rights attorney from Chicago can only be explained by the fact that they see him as the opposite of what they consider to be normal Americans.

Since Obama spoke to the world in front of the Victory Column in Berlin during his first presidential campaign in the summer of 2008, he has found a firm place in the hearts of German citizens. They will always be grateful to him for this honor. That's why they forgive him for keeping Guantanamo open and for sending out drones like other people would send postcards.

In the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, Andrian Kreye correctly pointed out that for Europe, life with Republican presidents is usually easier, because the US then takes the obligations of its alliances seriously.

Obama has no interest in Europe, and all of his attention goes to Asia. If this president calls the German chancellor's office, it is only to try to sweet talk her into finally implementing euro-bonds, so Wall Street can sleep again. But that is one of those facts that is better to suppress.

Superpowers don't disappear over the course of years. It takes decades, if not centuries. As such, the verdict might not arrive for awhile yet. The prophets of doom can continue to hope.

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robobbob's picture

"cured from the idea of a (military based) superpower".... and instead opted to follow the Red House Report plan and proceeded to infiltrate America via Operation Paperclip, and to nonviolently take over Europe under the guise of the EU

blunderdog's picture

I guess....if you say "Germany" only properly came into existence with Bismarck, it's a flash in the pan.  With a slightly more inclusive view, it was a pretty major chunk of history of the Roman Empire...however, I digress...

blunderdog's picture

I'm gauled at your behavior here...

akak's picture

Stop with all this linguistic Vandalism already!

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

It's OK, Hun, don't worry about it.

akak's picture

Ainu you were going to do that.

strayaway's picture

You guys know all the Angles!

Popo's picture

Meh... I can't be bothered to get off my ottoman.

akak's picture

Now don't go Basqueing in smugness!

THX 1178's picture

We should ostrocize him like a goth.

Carmagnole's picture

This has Goth to stop!

Ctrl_P's picture

I am czeching out of this thread, the comments are now poles apart from the OP. I hope this is now finnished, without the need to crow at the serbs.

Wolferl's picture

"Germany" came into existence in 843 when Ludwig the German(!) signed the treaty if Verdun. And btw, "Germany" is just a really stupid and ignorant English name for what is Deutschland in reality.     

akak's picture

OK, we'll agree to stop calling it "Germany" when you can get the French to stop calling the United States "Lazy Tots Zuni".

Wolferl's picture

C´mon, we tried and had them at their balls several times, but then you guys from the US had the stupid idea to help them. 

Harbanger's picture

In retrospect it was a stupid idea.

DanDaley's picture

My wife is a French teacher and got a big laugh out of that.  

PiratePawpaw's picture

Im pretty sure the term "Gaulia Germania" predates the English language. And I have a hunch it's origins are Latin.

Harbanger's picture

843 was right in the middle of the Dark ages.  Now Velcome to zee new vorrld ooooder.

mccoyspace's picture

It was a bunch of warring kingdoms until Bismarck unified in 1871.
Their first superpower ambitions ended in 1914. Not much of a run.
As for all their buried power lines, etc, it helps if you are rebuilding everything from absolute scratch about 60 years ago.

BooMushroom's picture

I'm pretty confident the USA has more buried power lines than Germany anyway. And more working bridges, too. Maybe they've never heard of "population density?"

wahrheit's picture

Seriously.  Texas is bigger than Germany.

Go Tribe's picture

Always wondered why we didn't save one of the two jap bombs for Berlin. Nothing worse than a condescending German.

Jolly.Roger's picture

Those crazy Krauts are gonna see their dream come true very soon. 

machineh's picture

If I were a German, I'd resent the US for still militarily occupying my country 67 years after the war was over.

Europe will remain a politically adolescent ward of Uncle Sam until it finally grows the stones to boot NATO out on its ass.

Meanwhile, whining is a good outlet for a continent which still lives in its American daddy's basement and salutes at his command.

ironsky's picture

Out with Uncle Sam. Give Uncle Vlad a chance.

lasvegaspersona's picture

look up Triffin's Dilemma, in spite of all the BS I still consider myself a good American. However much of the greatness of America is due to this one issue...WE GET FREE SHIT!!! When it ends then we will see the greatness of the USA unaided by GETTING FREE SHIT!!!

piliage's picture

At the height of the Schroder Bush pissing match in 2003, the US did want to pull out a bunch of bases. Gerrman mayors begged and pleaded to keep them in Germany.

The Germans right now are bitching non-stop about the US continuing to reject the Kyoto agreement, yet they are now importing more cheap US coal as they decided to shut down their nuclear power production (and continue to block further EU gas exploration). German's carbon output is spinning ever higher, yet the US was the only industrialized nation last year to lower it's carbon footprint due to shale gas development and is now exporting coal and CO2 to the Germans. How does hypocrisy taste, Fritz?

Regarding German 'efficiency', try taking the German ICE train. It will be two hours late, and the wifi won't work.

The cognitive dissonance in Germany is deafening. That said...

"A perverse mixture of irresponsibility, greed, and religious zealotry" does seem pretty spot on about the US.

 

Laretes's picture

1. This is a comment or a personal opinion piece.

2. To call Der Spiegel 'Germany's most popular financial newspaper' is an overstatement to put it mildly. It is a popular newspaper, but for sure not financial.

We do have an almost infantile crush on Obama though, so much is true. That is certainly because we consider the Republicans to be lunatic raving religious fanatics.

Bunga Bunga's picture

"Der Spiegel" (engl. the mirror) has more a reputation as a politic gossip magazine.

Jack Sheet's picture

And the piece is f****ng one-sided. Where is the analysis of how many German jobs depend on exports to the US.

http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Aussenpolitik/Laender/Laenderinfos/Usa...

FeralSerf's picture

Like the greek consumption of german products, paid for with IOUs.  These chickens are coming home to roost as well.

DanDaley's picture

Yeah, but they are all Germans..."Aust-" = southern, as in southern Germans, as in, you know, Australia...southern land.

vic and blood's picture

You made that up. Sud is South. 'Austria' is not named after any direction. Look it up. Look up folk etymoligy while you are at it.

Wolferl's picture

Sorry, the Austrian "Aust-" is a version of the German "Osten" which means east. Unlike the "Aust-" in Australia, which is Latin and means south. Austria once has been the "Ostmark" (Eastern border territory) of the Duchy of Bavaria.    

Jack Sheet's picture

The ignorance of the German populace about American power politics exceeds only their cluelessness about the puppet masters behind Murkle.