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 One must only take a look at the condition of the streets (every fourth bridge is crumbling!), or the entirely outdated power grid, to come to the conclusion that this country has its future behind it.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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Motorhead's picture

"Germany's most popular financial newspaper"...had to have been an honest mistake...Spiegel is not only not financial, but it is also not a newspaper.  And one might even argue its popularity.

The average German reads Bild.  Period.

noses's picture

Well... At least the average German is still able to read. Imagine they needed Fox news...

magpie's picture

Uhuh, wow so you really can 'read' the Bild.

noses's picture

You've got a point there…

schadenfreude's picture

Tits are reading comprehension?

Old Europe Avant-Garde's picture

It seems like you define average as "Joe the plummer".

Motorhead's picture

This is a good quote from the article:

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. 

I can only imagine what the Herms would be saying if Bush (either one) or Ronald Wilson Reagan were sending these "postcards".

orez65's picture

I am just as disappointed with the Germans.
You install close to 1.5 million solar power installations which do not produce any electricity in the winter because it is very cloudy iduring German winters.
And they produce very little electricity in the rest of the year.
You then dismantle your nuclear power plants and buy electricity from nuclear plants in France and Poland which are next door to you.
Then you relay on the US for military protection from the Russians.
You then invent the Euro so that you can sell your exports to countries that can not afford them, like Greece.
Please give me a break, you are more corrupt and stupid than the US.

Motorhead's picture

I'd say not more corrupt and stupid, but just as...and hypocritical.

Old Europe Avant-Garde's picture

Well those solar power installations are that inefficient that Germany has much to much electrical energy around noon. There is that much electrical power that even the market prices are down during that time.

Then the nuclear power plant myth. Well the truth is that Germany this year again had a record _export_ of electrical engery - even though we shut down some of the nuclear power plants.

Then stupid US protected us from the Russians thing: Well the US are occupying Germany since WWII, they are still here while the Rusian troups left after the reuinification in the 1990s. US never "protected us". The US had (and still has) interests in Europe and Germany was the designated battle ground for WWIII. Actually it would be wise of Germany to leave the f*** EU & NATO and get closer with Russia. The Eurasian continent is where the music plays (always has been).

Then Euro myth. Well Germany didn't want it. Certainly the population didn't but also the politicians only did at the time as this was the price for the reuinifcation. France hoped to drag Germany down and in the long run this plan will work.

Escapeclaws's picture

Hopefully they only buy nuclear power from the French nuclear installations that are closest to the Rhine.

Atomizer's picture

 

 

They’re doing whatever it takes to spin information positive. Just look at the latest headlines stipulating FBI covert operations. Expect more firings on a MSM level.

Taxpayer funded Honeypots are still used as a defense to Internet control. Data package leakage continues every day. Perps have already connected themselves to high powered WH officials who talk of payback, if your against us.   

magpie's picture

Chilling effect, quoth the Sunstein

Oldballplayer's picture

I love ZH because I am write this: Fuck You Germany. I know you have guns, but I have two P38's in my drawer that my dad took from you after blowing off your nazi heads. One still has uncle frtiz's blood stains on the holster.

We kicked your ass twice and them held your hand for fifty years. You are a petulant baby.

machineh's picture

All your strudel are belong to us!

Stuntgirl's picture

Possibly the most cogent of all comments here.

Tortuga's picture

Ain't no "possibly" about it. Cracks me up every time.

schadenfreude's picture

You stupid fuck did nothing to accomplish this. So what is your point? Congrats for having a waepon.

NidStyles's picture

You know this same thing happened before WW2. Hitler thought Americans were infantile and crude, but he loved FDR.

Motorhead's picture

I guess you can say the Dolfster loved Uncle Joe Stalin, too.

AnAnonymous's picture

Hilter loved the US. He took a lot of inspiration from the US history to deliver his final copy. He saw Indo European US Americans as cousins to the German people. Never wanted to go to war with them.

NidStyles's picture

I guess you missed what he said about the intolerant and racial divisive American Populace in 1934 then...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

Hilter loved the US. He took a lot of inspiration from the US history to deliver his final copy.

"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."

akak's picture

 

Hilter loved the US. He took a lot of inspiration from the US history to deliver his final copy. He saw Indo European US Americans as cousins to the German people.

Who exactly was "Hilter"?

Was he a parangong of US German 'american' citizenism?  The crustiest bit of a Germano-Indo-'american' mattering something?  Or just another invention of your fevered anti-American Chinese Citizenism fabled past?

Assuming that you were in fact referring to "Hitler", yes, he often described the USA as a "racially mongrelized nation" with apparently nothing but high praise in mind.

walcott's picture

total disinformation.

Atomizer's picture

 

 

Total Disinformation

false information, as about a country's military strength or plans, publicly announced or planted in the news media, especially of other countries.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disinformation

 

Would you like to modify this definition to include Conspiracy Theory? It may help your cause in the long run.  :p

JLee2027's picture

Europe has been wishing for our demise since the American Revolution. Look at the Civil War for example. Britian could hardly contain itself. I consider such "wishes" a happy indication that we are well ahead of Old Europe and will remain so.

Atomizer's picture

Let’s be smart this time around. Rather than starting a civil war & fighting over manufactured MSM race wars. Let’s show up at the bankers & central planners homes. Of course, this will not sit well. They expect us to kill each other first. That has always been the repeated war plan based on population control and rising inflation costs for centuries

Old Europe Avant-Garde's picture

Being well ahead is only a positive thing if you are headed towards the right direction...

Payne's picture

comparing Germany to the US we would have to use only the Greater San Francisco Bay area, without a FED government constantly at war we would match up pretty well.  Everyone says they know geography and they have a better education system except when they make poor comparisons.

Old Europe Avant-Garde's picture

Yes and no. Actually consider that California as the Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the military industrial complex (San Diego/LA area), tons of nature, farming and _still_ is bankrupt. Thats something to be proud of. Other countries would do well with just one or two of the mentioned jems.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Did the Grateful Dead come from Germany? I think not.

machineh's picture

No, but Elvis and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix hung out there for awhile.

guinea's picture

Why does Germany make such cheesy porn?

Oldballplayer's picture

And trimmers and razors. They can get those in Getmany right? German porn is just horrible.

Phillycheesesteak's picture

Another misleading headline by ZH. From reading the excerpts, it sounds like the writer agrees with the assertion that the U.S. is in decline. After reading the article, it is obvious that he is saying that reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated. Keep up the anti-American spin, ZH. What's next? Some propaganda from Al Queda?

As for the power lines, all new developments in the U.S. have been built with underground utilities for decades. Had our country been totally flattened in WWII, we wouldn't have many above ground lines either, especially if half our population lived in grafitti ridden tenement housing like the Germans instead of real homes with some land and trees around them.

Phillycheesesteak's picture

Another misleading headline by ZH. From reading the excerpts, it sounds like the writer agrees with the assertion that the U.S. is in decline. After reading the article, it is obvious that he is saying that reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated. Keep up the anti-American spin, ZH. What's next? Some propaganda from Al Queda?

As for the power lines, all new developments in the U.S. have been built with underground utilities for decades. Had our country been totally flattened in WWII, we wouldn't have many above ground lines either, especially if half our population lived in grafitti ridden tenement housing like the Germans instead of real homes with some land and trees around them.

Atomizer's picture

You should always clear your computer cache prior to posting under a AI assistant. Double posts purge any creditability. Since the software duplicates posting, entries are based on timed out sequencing.

 

Mirrored diarrhea of the keyboard always occurs twice. 

Q: What does Vote of 1795 mean to you?

Tortuga's picture

This is zh man, not Wired. People get emotional here and sometimes make mistakes.

Hugh Jorgan's picture

Obama a civil rights attorney?  Where did you get that nonsense?  The man hasn't ever practiced law.  He was forced to relinquish his law license, as was his wife, both for malfeasance.  Please don't give the Communist in Chief more credit than he is due.  He isn't an intellectual.  He isn't a decent man.  Just ask Illinoians and Chicagoans who didn't vote for him, who do work, but who are shouldering the burden of this failed state, with record high increases in income and property tax.  And ask the 70 or so million Americans on food stamps. 

Guys, lately a lot of your stuff is leading me to not want to come back here.  It would appear that you think that anyone from the right is the moral equivalent to Obama.  Read what Obama really is, before you compare conservatives with this Marxist douchebag.  He is here to destroy America.  He is succeeding.  Stop calling him that which he isn't.  Please-you are one of the last sane websites I visit. 

praxis's picture

Hey Deutschland what's Putin up to?  How have you and the Russians been doing?  Seriously, you guys starting to patch things up?  Any lingering animosity?  I'm sure they've forgotten all about the Great Patriotic War. 

Last time I checked we had Canucks to our north and Wetbacks to the South who still (for some reason) all want to come here. 

All fun aside, I know we facked over the natives but weren't you the ones who invented industrial genocide?  Aren't they still finding human bones from your death camps in Eastern Europe? 

Hitler/Himler.  Need I say anything else?  

You suck eggs.  Your post WWII guilt trip liberal policies dont mean jack.  No offense but didn't the Soviets occupy you for 40 some years due to your fascination with a fascist head case? 

Fat people?  Germany seriously?  How many fat wurst eating krauts run around Munich at lunch time.

Aryans?  Third Reich?  What the fuck are you people smoking? 

DosZap's picture

Last time I checked we had Canucks to our north and Wetbacks to the South who still (for some reason) all want to come here

Easy, stats from last election, FREE gub handouts, and high wages (compared to FuhuCo.)

Hugh Jorgan's picture

Oh, and I almost forgot.  We Americans will trade Hussein for Merkel any fucking day!  Lets send barry over to the krauts.  I am sure that 6 months of Merkel and the lefty pussies would snap to.  screw the krauts.  I am sure a bunch of money for this and the last election came from them, as Obama had no security measures on his website to deter or disallow foreign donations to his campaign. 

If you guys would go hard on the congress and the DoJ to investigate stuff like this, then maybe people would be better informed and not vote for turdbanging libtards like barry!  Think about it ZH.  Think long and hard about it.  Where does your libertarian ideology come second to your love of AMerica?

zilverreiger's picture
Man this spiegel article is indeed nothing saying, typical lost in translation (couldn't find a german original) and mostly filler. All the awakened want to see the evil empire (at present the great satan USA) fall on its face for sure, but this article is just crap it doesn't clearly pick sides.
tickhound's picture

I believe in Steamboat Willie.  Toot Toot! 

Itch's picture

Europeans say these things because they are so frustrated in their attempts to understand America. They pop their head in the American box for a second and they come out with their brains frazzled and their hair looking like they have been in a slapstick explosion. The sheer violence in the polarization of "opinions" in the US has the rest of the world scratching their head. And rightly so.

Its the freedom of speech thing; there are two types of freedom here, freedom "from", and freedom "to". Hardliners believe they should have freedom "to" spout whatever they like may the truth be dammed, there is no interest in moderation or civility, muddying the waters shamelessly and stirring the shit until the lines become so blurred no one knows what they are anymore, big danger here.

All those little radio stations, blogs and independent media outlets constantly telling people what their prejudices want to hear rather than seeing it as their duty as journalists to find moderation and the truth... that takes talent, but rabble-rousing comes naturally to some, in fact it seems a lot of Americans were born to do it. These low-level theatrical bullshitters need taken off the airwaves...freedom of speech, yes, but freedom to tell lies and stir up hostilities, no. People should be free "from" it.

America will need a “great moderation” , its up to political leaders to become more responsible about how they garner votes, as it stands they have everyone at each others throats; there are huge amounts of people in America who are just too susceptible to hard line theatricals, and frankly they cant handle it, they’re too childish. Forming political opinions should be as much about the intellect as it is about gut emotion and shooting from the hip; constantly baiting voters to hate each other will one day do irreversible damage.      

 

 

carambar's picture

I agree, european are at lost trying to understand american. You have to live in this country to understand what's going on in the background. No one in Europe mesure how much religion is important in US politics and how many people still want to implement 19th policies that would not even pass the smell test in old  Europe. Yes, some people are trying to rebuilt in the US what early immigrant escaped. They have been somewhat successful in some Southern states but thanksfully we are in an age of media where the carzy can't stay hidden for ever.

I can tell you by my own experience, that except in the US not even in France , politician, Media or ordinary citizen claim that the US is the greatest country on the face of Earth. Incredible.

Only radio Moscow would say that before the Berlin wall fell.

the only reason the US economy defies the law of nature is because of the Dollarisation of the world exchanges. trades were/are most of the time paid in $$. All these dollars are circulatiing outside the US economy, thus are nor coming back to inflate the system. This has allowed the US to print huge among of $ for the last few decades without facing the warth of commoners. You are all aware what happen to a country that use the printing machine but this doent apply to the US so far. This unique situation is certainly part of the envy from european countries.