Saturday, May 14, 2011

World's Investors Say Obama Tougher On Terrorists Than Bush

The general consensus among most people in the business community (Wall Street investors and corporate management) in this country is that the Republican Party is more effective on national defense issues, especially terrorism, than the Democratic Party -- and that the Bush administration was better at fighting terrorism than the Obama administration. This is backed up by a Bloomberg Poll that shows people in the American investment community gave the following results when surveyed:

George Bush...............54%
Barack Obama...............26%
Don't Know...............20%

One might think that investors and business leaders in other countries would think the same thing, since like Americans they are generally conservatives. But that would be wrong. Investors in other countries believe the opposite - that Obama is superior in fighting terrorism to Bush. The Bloomberg Global Poll (taken May 8th and May 9th of 1,263 subscribers to the Bloomberg Professional service -- representing "an elite group of decision makers in finance, markets and economics") showed the following (with a 2.8 point margin of error):

Barack Obama...............40%
George Bush...............29%
Don't Know...............31%

How could this be? Why would these conservative leaders think a "liberal" fights terrorism better? The answer lies in a skewed American perception of what conservatism and liberalism really are (in relation to how the rest of the world sees them). The sad truth is that there is no liberal party in the United States (which would be equivalent to the New Democrats in Canada, the Labour Party in England, the Socialist Party in France, etc.).

The American Democratic Party occupies virtually the same spot on the political spectrum as the conservative parties in Europe (and Canada). It is a business-oriented party that generally tries to push only moderate changes and avoids truly progressive ideas. The fact that American progressives stay with this center-right party just shows the complete absence of a truly progressive party in this country (of a viable alternative).

And many conservatives have said they consider themselves closer to the American Democratic Party than the Republican Party (which they view as a right-wing fringe extremist party -- closer to the nationalist extremist parties in their own countries). For instance, while the American Republicans deny a right to health care for citizens, the European and Canadian conservatives support the right of citizens to health care and support their own government-run health care systems.

Once this is understood, it is easy to see why even conservatives in other countries are happier with Barack Obama as president. George Bush scared them with his support for government spying on citizens, support for torture, and willingness to try to spread an American-style of government with the use of military power.

I envy the citizens of Canada and Europe. They not only have almost-rational conservative parties, but also truly progressive alternative parties. They have a real choice. I wish Americans had that same choice, but sadly, the only choice in America is between a center-right party (Democrats) and a far-right party (Republicans). That needs to change.

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