I subscribe to The Week magazine and each issue publishes the opinions about America by news reporters from various foreign news media. Sometimes it’s good to step back and look at ourselves through the eyes of others. Here is a synopsis of this weeks opinions.
Rupert Cornwell in The Independent (U.K.) says, “Americans can rarely have held their politicians in greater contempt--and rightly so.” Because of the feeble attempt of the two parties to keep the country from going over the so-called fiscal cliff by simply pushing the problem down the road, they will be bickering again soon when the country meets the debt ceiling. He also states that when our Founding Fathers set in place the checks and balances of separate branches of government they “could never have imagined so colossal a collective abdication of responsibility by the people’s elected representatives.”
Daniel Haufler in the Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany) says “Ever since they lost communism as an ideological punching bag, the Republicans have launched themselves against an imaginary enemy in Washington.” Lowering taxes is not enough for them, they want to starve the government of sufficient revenue which will end social safety nets and push the country toward default and bring the rest of the world down with them.
Olaf Gersemann in Die Welt (Germany) thinks that even though our political system fosters a deep polarization among voters and lately seems incapable of compromise it is a system that made America the richest nation in the world, and no political battles or economic crises will change that soon.
Leo McKinstry in Express.co.uk opines that America is no different than the EU. On both sides of the Atlantic the politicians use short term fixes to postpone a “larger reckoning.” Instead of governing most politicians work to maintain power.