20100708

Independents?

With only 38% of Independent voters now approving Obama how much lower will his overall support go next month? - Yahoo! Answers: "Thirty-eight percent of independents approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, the first time independent approval of Obama has dropped below 40% in a Gallup Daily tracking weekly aggregate. Meanwhile, Obama maintains the support of 81% of Democrats, and his job approval among Republicans remains low, at 12%."

According to social psychologists democrats value care and fairness over loyalty, respect for authorities and purity which is what republicans value most. As the data show above the US is fairly polarized among the two major parties. RealClearPolitics.com shows that the current trend for the US is that Obama is slowly losing overall support he is now at 46% and that the number of people that think the US is on the wrong track is slowly increasing and now at 62%.

When you, like myself, end up as an independent in a highly polarized environment, you get angry looks from both sides. It would be my guess that independents might often be interested in foreign policy. Except for the Libertarians in the US that are isolationist. However, as the article in SpiegelOnline that I cited earlier today showed two-thirds of Germans are against the Afghanistan mission. The author argues that in the representative system it is still up to the government to rule as it sees fit between the elections and that it therefore is a legitimate mission.

Can't help thinking that such a discordance between the people and the ruling elite is troublesome. The German people, according to the Eurobarometer, does not want to share a foreign policy with the US. Thus this is probably the more important reason for the discontent rather than the casualties, 46 so far. Robert D. Blackwill, a former US Ambassador to India, suggests that it is time for partitioning Afghanistan into a northern and a southern region. That would mean that the peacekeepers, like Sweden and Germany, might help out in the north-west and that the US and the Commonwealth would fight the Pashtuns in the south. I thought it already looked like such a partition was in place?

So, what kind of prediction could be made from the falling and rising discontent of Obama and his mission, respectively? It is soon midterm elections and Obama even smiled when meeting Netanyahu recently. General Petraeus conveniently fell asleep when he was to answer if the July 2011 deadline in Afghanistan was reasonable. Obama has to keep this wording because he wants to maintain his leftish Democrat support. The last figures I saw on the amount of people negative on Afghanistan was around 50% so there is a similar situation to that in Germany.

The reason I wrote all this is to note the important thing that it seems like the elites and the people live and judge matters with different information in different worlds. This is a threat to democracy! We need more transparency.