Was Barack Obama the fittest American president
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris : Two that many Germans also long for
The mistake that the Germans will make next can already be foreseen by yesterday evening at the latest, but maybe not that bad either. You will fall in love with Kamala Harris and Joe Biden as you fell in love with Barack Obama, in a somewhat naive, teenage way, but all the more.
When the President-elect of the United States of America and his future Vice-President addressed the Americans for the first time last night in Wilmington, Delaware, after they were proclaimed election winners, an energy and charisma were palpable that has been felt since Barack Obama has no longer experienced an infectious joy in life and in politics and in the change that corresponds exactly to what Germans sometimes miss in their own politicians - and what many Americans, especially the young, have longed for in the past four years to have.
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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris did everything right. They spoke specifically to all those groups who helped give them the presidency, to those who danced in the streets while they spoke and who have found the past four years particularly distressing: women, African Americans, immigrant Americans, LGBTQ Community and young people (so a whole lot of people, the majority, before someone starts complaining about identity politics for minorities again). But Joe Biden also insisted he would be the president of all Americans - and that is believable.
Watch Joe Biden's speech here:
But what made the biggest difference and was so contagious and personable, just to fall in love with: With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, empathy returns, and philanthropy returns to American politics.
Finally two again who don't just talk about themselves
The extent to which viewing and listening habits have changed over the past four years is evident from the fact that it was noticeable how much time both of them spent in their speeches not talking about their own but about the merits of others, how much time they spent on thanking people. and expressions of love.
Kamala Harris did not simply claim to be the first woman and the first woman from an immigrant family to serve in this office. She praised the achievement of all those who made this possible, not least that of her mother and the women of the civil rights movement: "I stand on your shoulders."
Watch Kamala Harris' speech here:
Joe Biden expressed his condolences to the relatives of the more than 200,000 Covid-19 dead in the United States. We have learned: this cannot be taken for granted.
In liberal democracy, empathy is not really a luxury. Empathy is an expression of a special appreciation for every single life, every single person, which is the core of democracy.
Donald Trump lacked the ability to do this in a downright pathological way: he had children separated from their parents on the border of the United States in order to deter immigrants. When a storm hit Puerto Rico, Trump arrived and threw paper towels into the crowd in a bored mood as if he were holding a raffle.
"It is what it is"
He didn't say a word of sympathy for the relatives of African-Americans like George Floyd who were killed by police officers. And unlike Joe Biden, he was unable to mourn the Covid dead. The most emotional thing the President has ever said about the dead from the pandemic was, "It is what it is."
[More on the subject: Donald Trump - an obituary during his lifetime - the destroyer will have to go, his rubble remains]
With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, a genuine appreciation of life returns to politics in a cheerful, charismatic and energetic way. For Donald Trump, the survival of the fittest is an acceptable and even welcome state of nature. For him, poverty and disease are part of this natural state, not a political problem that needs to be solved.
Trump took the American idea of personal responsibility to the extreme of complete de-solidarization - for him, the fact that he survived his own Covid 19 disease was only proof of the correctness of this ideology.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stand for the inverse of this worldview.
The Americans, but also the Germans, have a deep need, especially in times of the pandemic, for this kind of determined but empathetic politician, as Biden and Harris personify him: the best prerequisite for a "big crush", a hopeless fall in love. This will certainly get in the way of an analytical and critical look at transatlantic relations and worsen expected disappointments. But whatever. There is not much to be done.
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