…was the title of of a presentation / discussion I organized in Hamburg yesterday. Background: I’ve been working freelance for a German association for adult political education for some time now. Don’t let the pseudo-utopian name fool you. Die Neue Gesellschaft (“The New Society”).

Me and my friend Philipp, who I invited as a speaker,  focused on American history and course of events of the two parties, Republicans and Democrats. A vivid discussion ensued, of course, upon the topic of the Tea Party movement. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. It’s basically a Republican campaign of protest. Against the Obama administration in general, against health care plans,  against climate control, social security, against pretty much everything. I particularly liked this expression: is it a genuine grass-root-movement (meaning it originates from within the people) or is it astroturf (Kunstrasen)? Is it just well mediated and loud instead of justified? One of its biggest known promoters, Glenn Beck, is notorious for his racist rants on FOX news, which he partly owns.

We included this video for demonstration of his rhetoric and people were shocked.

One of the attendées asked aloud: “Why do people vote Republican at all? How can they be so stupid?”

We could not answer that question.

I, for one, hope that Obama will be elected President for a second legislation period and that more Americans would choose to acknowledge what he has accomplished so far (a great deal!) instead of blaming the Democrats for everything that went wrong under several others such as Bush Jr.