The world’s most powerful woman

merkelGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be the most powerful woman in the world today. This may be an understatement–she may be the most powerful politician regardless of gender. Merkel has created a ruling party of the center in Germany that marginalizes both far left and far right. She is very popular with Germans who value stability and prosperity. Whether or not she chooses to run again, her coalition and her politics are likely to endure.

Could we have an Angela Merkel in America who would create a successful coalition which would be progressive when necessary and conservative when it made sense? Could either the Democratic or Republican party be the nucleus of such a coalition? It seems not.

FDR may have had a chance. Even though he was elected to a fourth term, his efforts to combat the depression and win the war did not leave a long lasting legacy. Congress was dominated by Republicans; Truman was elected narrowly. Four years later the country chose Ike.

Johnson and Clinton muffed any chance, Johnson’s progressive success wasn’t universally popular; Clinton was derailed by scandal. Johnson and two Bush Presidents were undone by war. Clinton and Obama faced entrenched Republican intransigence.

Could Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush succeed? It seems unlikely that either would be elected with a mandate that would allow their party to move decisively to the center.  We need an Angela Merkel.

© William Hungerford – December 2014



About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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4 Responses to The world’s most powerful woman

  1. josephurban says:

    I think the big difference between countries like Germany, Denmark, Sweden, etc. and the USA is that in these countries there are many political parties that are allowed to fully participate in the process. Merkel’s party, for example, only got 42% of the vote, but it was the highest of any party. In order to put together a majority a leader is forced to work with one or two other parties. She had to reach out and accept ideas and people from opposing parties. Compromise is built into the system so many voices are heard and many are needed to succeed. It is mathematically impossible to win without compromise. Coalition-building is considered a sign of leadership, not weakness.
    In our closed system only two parties have any legitimate chance of winning. The electoral college and laws that make it difficult for third parties see to that. As a result minority parties are simply ignored. You win and you don’t need to compromise with anyone. Compromise is seen as weakness.
    Mrs. Merkel would not fair well in our system.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. whungerford says:

    Is the reason the US has a two party system the electoral college, the system of checks and balances, the frequent occurrence of divided government, regional differences, the American temperament, or what? And what would it take to fix it? As for Angela Merkel, there is no telling how she would do in American politics, but she has an amazing story.


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    Germany’s population is approx. 81 million based on a mostly singular ethnicity and environs.
    The US population is approx. 317 million with a wide range of ethnicities and very disparate environs. How would Merkel’s apparently successful policies in Germany fly in the US?

    Chancellor Merkel may be very popular in Germany, but not in all EU membership countries. She is remembered for pushing for austerity policy on many EU members, while instituting a very different policy for Germany at the same time.

    Please, no more Clintons or Bushes, I agree. The horizon looks bleak to me at the moment. After the upcoming two years of “GOP control”, Americans may either just give up to the Plutocracy or they may be so frustrated and awakened, they demand another FDR.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. whungerford says:

    Chancellor Merkel seems to share with Gov. Cuomo the ability to get people with diverse interests to cooperate. Merkel is said to have been ruthless in destroying her rivals–usually not an option for an American President.


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