I mean, apart from the obvious.
One of the main things that really stick in my craw about this person is one of the same things that I resent about George W Bush. It’s something that isn’t really relevant to me, except that whoever is president of the US, I have to see a lot of that person in the media, whether I want to or not. But it is something that ought to be extremely relevant to the American people. It’s hardly ever brought up and I genuinely don’t understand why.
It boils down to one word: Dignity. Being head of state is a huge responsibility. It makes a person the leader of his nation – the head of his nation – someone that, for better or worse, the nation looks up to. An American reading this may not think that s/he looks up to GWB, but in a way, regardless of whatever antipathy you may feel towards him, I think you do. Because he is the president. Like it or not, there he is. You see him. He influences you, all of you. Any leader of any state has an effect on his people.
And this is why, as a Norwegian, I don’t need to worry that I will ever see king Harald V in a position where he appears to the nation as ridiculous. I will not see him giving foreign heads of state unasked-for neck rubs. I will not see him dancing a little jig while waiting for a press conference to start. I will never see anything remotely like that. Because our king understands that in order for him to maintain in his office the respect and affection of his people, he must maintain in his person the dignity that induces us to feel that way towards him. I don’t think president Bush has ever understood that. And I don’t think Sarah Palin does either.
If you are American and you disagree – please leave a comment to that effect and explain why. I would really like to know. I see the office of president of your country as having an inherent dignity. This is not related to political affiliation. But being president, being leader of government and head of state, brings with it an inherent dignity. That is a quality that I feel has been degraded and squandered by the holder of the office over the past eight years. Sometimes, seeing president Bush, I cringe with embarrassment. I really do. And I’m a citizen of another country, far away. I dread to think what you, having this man as your head of state, must feel – or ought to feel.
Respect isn’t something one automatically gets. It’s something that has to be earned, and that we all must earn through our words, our actions and behavior. I think it must be difficult for Americans to respect their president. That is very sad … but at the same time, very understandable. For the American people to truly respect their president, that president must be a man – or woman – with competence and dignity. One important reason why I, personally, would be so delighted to see Barack Obama as president of the United States is that I believe, strongly, that he would bring back that dignity to the country’s highest office. I would love to see that happen, and I’m pretty sure McCain can’t do it. I know Palin can’t do it. But Obama probably can. I would love to see it. And I think that the American people, as a nation, would benefit tremendously by it.
The United States is seen by many as the bully in the playground of the world. But can we blame them? A fish rots from the head on down … and if their leader is a bully, what can we expect the people to become? The American people do have it in them to be a great nation. But for that to happen, they need a great leader. At the moment, I personally do not see more than one person who can conceivably perform that task.
Good luck to the inexperienced Illinois senator. Your country needs you … in more ways than one.
2 weeks ago