The Election of Obama and the rest of the World
The hostility of the business community to President Obama seems etched in stone, but the rest of the world is rejoicing. Foreign observers report that in Asia support for Obama ranges from 75% to 94% – Romney’s challenge made no sense in the face of a President who has reached out across national boundaries.
This is seen as critical. In Britain election results were followed in such detail, almost county by county, that commentators were surprised. But other countries see the US as a bellwether economy as well as the dominant power on the world scene. Romney was a stranger to them – which is typical for any challenger to a sitting President – but they sensed a return to Bush-era bullying, isolationism, and faith-based policy.
Obama’s re-election eased those fears. He stands as a symbol of “Let’s move forward” in countries where sliding backward is a real threat. This includes Europe, which lags behind America in its recovery efforts and sees a double-dip recession in a handful of countries already.
The message to business in this country should be clear: Attitudes are just as important in markets as stocks, bonds, and commodities. As vital as jobs are, consciousness is more important in the long run. It will do the us no good to dominate a discouraged world. It will do the US great good to lead a hopeful world. I’m not a businessman, but the ones I know who have succeeded at the highest level understand a secret: You succeed best when you meet the needs of other people. The world gets that Obama feels the same way. It’s time that we did, too.