I sat last night and watched several minutes of the 8PM ARD (Channel One) news, which drilled into the US election. About half the comments were numbers and facts....half concerned the problems of the President in working with such an atmosphere and the "radical" change of the government.
For the most part, it was German journalists reading off the New York Times....something that you get used to....as you view the state-run network's nightly news pieces. A drop or two of negativity, spread into a story that had mostly facts laid out, and suggesting "radical" times ahead.
So here's the blunt truth.
The vast number of Germans don't care about the election, the results, or some suggested "radical" change that came to the American government. I know ARD and their journalists would suggest otherwise, but you can walk around and interview a hundred Germans on the street about the top twenty things in their life that they worry about or are concerned over, and American politics rarely fall onto that list.
The Iraq and Afghan War? Yes....it might fall on the list. The Gitmo stuff? Yes. The NSA and Snowden episode? Yes. Beyond that? They just don't care.
In 2008, Senator running-for-President Obama showed up in Berlin and thrilled 200,000-odd German people. Today? If he showed up on a Saturday or Sunday...he might draw a couple thousand folks, but it's a different atmosphere. The speeches only go so far.
The unworkable situation developing in January within the DC environment? It's come and gone countless times in American history, and continually part of the democracy. It was built to be difficult, and you learn to operate within a certain boundary. In this case, the President will eventually (probably by summer of 2015)....come to adjust his agenda and work out some compromise. This is what the public asked for, and will eventually receive. It won't be pleasant, but who said these sort of things have to always be pleasant?
I might point out to the typical German whining about all of this.....that when German elections typically occur....the new cycle in the US is marginal. CNN might spend six minutes explaining the German election and what happened. Most networks? They will have a twelve second commentary, and simply move on. A thousand people on the streets of Miami....can have the question thrown at them over some recent German election, and you might be lucky to find eight people who knew of it, and the results. It's just that we have an awful lot of news, and it doesn't rate highly. That's the plain simple truth.