06/14/2012 (10:00 - 11:00) · Cologne
Annual General Meeting
Cologne: »Annual General Meeting of the American International Women's Club of Cologne e.V.«On June 14, 2012, Ms. Tina Höfinghoff, Managing Director of the Amerika Haus e.V. NRW, was invited to the annual general meeting of the American International Women’s Club of Cologne e.V. in order to present the work the Amerika Haus e.V. NRW provides. Giving an insight into the Amerika Haus e.V. NRW's projects Ms. Hoefinghoff also made the case for further good cooperation.
06/14/2012 (19:00 - 21:30) · Bonn · Haus der Geschichte
Lecture & Discussion
Bonn: »The U.S. in turmoil: what the election is actually about«with Don Jordan, American journalist and foreign correspondent
Provocative, emotional, and vivid – this is what the numerous guests expected gathering at the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn on June 14, 2012 to see Don Jordan, American journalist and foreign correspondent for many years, and indeed he delivered.
Following the welcoming words by Angelica Maria Kappel, mayor of the Federal City of Bonn, Dr. Harald Biermann, Managing Director of the Stiftung Haus der Geschichte Bonn, Dr. Juliane Kronen, Member of the Board at Amerika Haus e.V. NRW, and Hans-Jürgen Stryk, president of the Colloquium Humanum e.V., Don Jordan discussed what this year’s elections are actually about.
With his style of humor, sarcasm, and with a wagging finger, for Germans well-known from various appearances at the Internationale Frühshoppen or Anne Will, Don Jordan outlined his hypothesis of the United States in turmoil. Being a journalist himself, he said he is ashamed of media’s polarization in the U.S., siding with one of the two competing parties. The new laws on collecting donations are scandalous and the amount of money that Republican rightists raise poses the greatest threat to the American democracy, according to Don Jordan. He furthermore accuses the American voters of deciding on short-time purposes without caring about social effects in the long run. Worrisome is the decline of the middle class and the concern about maintaining one’s standard of living. Emphasizing his resentment when looking at the role and performance of labor unions and insurance companies, Don Jordan blames failed management, corruption, as well as “ideological warfare” to having caused effectivity of these institutions.
Considering the ideological contest between an arising social spirit versus predatory capitalism, this year’s congressional and presidential elections will set the course for the next decades– as stated by Don Jordan. Thus, the elections will mainly be about how to provide job creation. Don Jordan expects the Democrats to call for more state interventionism whereas the Republicans are known for opposing such regulatory involvement. This is where Don Jordan sympathizes with President Obama, whose economic program has not been as successful as intended but still saved the U.S. from worse. The decisive factors of this year’s election are thus supposed to be the rivalry about the diverging drafts on economic policy: How to stimulate growth and how to reduce unemployment and the differences between the poor and the rich. According to Don Jordan, both candidates, Barack Obama as well as Mitt Romney, cannot be more different from each other and thus reflect the lack of willingness to compromise in American politics causing political gridlock.
Considering foreign policy issues and transatlantic relations, Don Jordan highlighted the American contribution to global stability of which in particular Germany took advantage since being an export-oriented economy, and for which the Americans not only paid for with their money but also with their blood. For the future, Don Jordan expects the United States to continue their reorientation away from Europe and towards Asia and blames the German media and their “provincialisation” for having Germans not being concerned about this fact.
To vitalize the transatlantic relations is therefore as important as ever. This was also the result of the discussion following Don Jordan’s lecture. In conversation with Dr. Johannes Bohnen and later on with the audience, Don Jordan did not grow tired to answer the audience’s questions and concluded that the German-American relationship is more complex than only founded on an economical ground. Thus, to promote transatlantic cooperation and friendship remains as important as ever.
Moderation: Dr. Johannes Bohnen, BOHNEN KALLMORGEN & PARTNER, Atlantische Initiative e.V., Berlin
Summary by Svea Burmester, Amerika Haus e.V. NRW
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