Sunday, November 16, 2008

Obama not suitable for being President

Last week Senator Barack Obama was elected President of the US. Not only was he able to gain the trust of the majority of Americans, but it seems that a vast majority of the world's population was in favour of Obama. According to an online poll conducted on the China daily website by the U.S embassy, 75 percent of Chinese people supports Obama, despite the fact that the Chinese government tried to dampen popular enthusiasm for an Obama win in the American election.

I guess the high support rates for Obama abroad is partly a result of 8 years under the rule of George W. Bush, probably the most unpopular American President ever, but Obama has nevertheless done a great job conviencing the world that he is up for the task.

With the US facing a financial crises (and a likely recession to come with it) and two major wars abroad, we should all hope he is.

But, American spending is decreasing and with that Chinese exports. Already factories in China are starting to lay off people, and this is probably just the beginning. Naturally, Chinese government officials are not very fond of the fact that Obama is likely to try and save the US economy by raising import taxes and implenting other barriers that will unfavour Chinese exports.

Personally, I have to say am really surprised that Obama enjoys such high rates of support in China. With Obama being black, I would have thought that he would receive hostile criticism from a significant number of Chinese. In general Chinese people have a skeptical attitude towards black people. One could argue that this applies only for the uneducated, but in China that is still a vast majority of the population. I remember taking a cab in Beijing earlier this year, and for some reason the topic of different races ended up being discussed, and I still can't shake one of the things my driver said to me "You know, we Chinese don't quite yet live in a fully developed country, like you white people do, but some day we will. At least we're better than the blacks!".

But with this being said, I can understand why the Chinese do seem to love Obama, he does indeed represent something close to the American dream. And if there's one thing I've learn about Chinese it's that they are very much like Americans. I can already hear you all laugh at this statement, but I really mean it. When it comes to being competetive, whether it's in education, business, sports or a social context, Americans and Chinese think and behave very similar. They all have a strong believe in being a self made man, if you don't make it; if you don't make it, there's got to be something wrong with you as an individual.

This post was actually supposed to be a translation of a Chinese blog post with just a brief introduction. So, let's cut to the chase.

Link to original article (in Chinese)
Author: Unknown
Obama, you're not suitable for being the President of the United States of America!

1. Lack of real experience
There's a saying in China: "Those who suffer, will one day get their chance - What goes around comes around." (lit. A daughter-in-law who suffers will one day become a mother-in-law). Look at you, a senator, a federal senator - now President. You should know that being a senator is not really dealing with adminstrative matters, it's more like being a People's Congress delegate, meaning when you next year assume office, you have never been in charge of real administrative duties, you have never really dealt with any matters of real importants. In other words, you, who has not even served as a country magistrate, is going to serve as President!? Take a look at China, are there really any high officals who has laddered to the top without doing it step by step? They all have plenty of experience from real life communities. But with your qualifications!? Sweet dreams!

2. Way too young
When China in 2006 elected members for the standing comittee, the youngest to be chosen was 53 years old, and that was after fall is just to make the cadres younger in average age. When introducing them, our leaders addressed them in a conceited tone. Being Commander of Chief by the age of 47, isn't that a quite obvious signal for China? Will you be able to provide a rudder for your country, with no one there to help you? Will you be able to lead the reformation? I suggest that after you come to power, you let old fellows like Bush and Clinton work together to give you some pointers, this way the citizens of your country can feel relived. Remember, keep the vessel steady!


According to the blog where I found this post, it is uncertain if this was written as a joke or just to provoke, nevertheless, I put it up to show at least one thing: The difference between how western democracies are electing their leaders through general elections and how China more and more is turning into a steady technocracy, a society in which those who govern justify themselves by appeal to technical experts who justify themselves by appeal to scientific forms of knowledge. In these troubled financial times, it is tempting to support the latter.

Update: Due to the Chinese government envoking new censorship laws, has been forced to close. The original blogpost of my translation is therefore unavailable. I'll see if I can find another version of it and update the link...

André Holthe, November 2008


Michael said...

I hope for your sake that you don't succumb to the temptation you are describing in the last sentence he he : )

André Holthe said...

I would trade our so-called democracies for a dime without blinking.