Members of the G8:
Taro Aso, Prime Minister, 日本国 Nippon-koku (Japan);
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, Canada;
Barack Obama, President, United States of America;
Nicolas Sarkozy, President, République française (French Republic);
Silvio Berlusconi, President, Repubblica Italiana (Italian Republic) (Chairman);
Dmitry Medvedev, President, Россия (Russia);
Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Bundersrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany);
Gordon Brown, Prime Minister, Great Britain.
Members of the +5 Emerging National Economies:
Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President, República Federativa do Brasil (Federative Republic of Brazil);
Dai Bingguo, State Counsilor, 中華人民共和國 Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó (People’s Republic of China);
Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, भारत गणराज्य (Republic of India);
Felipe Calderón, President, Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States);
Jacob Zuma, President, Republic of South Africa / IRiphabliki yaseNingizimu Afrika.
These illustrious lady and gentlemen are representing the greatest economies from all over the world. They are meeting in L’Aquila, Italy to discuss matters that could shape our lives for decades to come, everything from global warming to the world economic crisis, from nuclear disarmament to intellectual properties.
One must wonder how President Obama will fare in the company of other world leaders. One must ask oneself, with all the education and life experience this man has had, will he be seen as a man with an incredibly uphill battle toward recovery of the U.S. economy and worldwide reputation, or will he be seen as the bearer of hyperbole and charm alone?
This is a different era than in World War II when the craggy elder statemen lined up to take the offical photograph as leaders of the free world. As surprising as it may sound, President Obama is not the youngster in the crowd. President Medvedev, at forty-three years old, is younger by five years than the U.S. leader.
Four of the eight are merely in their fifties. (Incidentally, Chancellor Merkel will turn 54 on my birthday, July 17, which I found entertaining to know.) Prime Minister Aso of Japan, at sixty-eight, is second eldest and the Chairman of the summit, President Berlusconi of Italy, is the eldest at seventy-two years old.
The average age of the G8 leaders is 55.8 years old.
Are our leaders getting younger, and by extension, less experienced? Is this going to impact the future of our planet?
It could be that President Obama can join the party in a very real way with innovative ideas, surrounded by other starry-eyed dreamers, waiting to create a new vision and vitality for our countries and our world.
This is what concerns me. Are these young upstarts idealists with little ability for follow-through, or, rather, are they insightful people who have allowed pragmatism to play a part in their development? In this VH1, media-based, technology-ridden culture, everything points to transiency and immediate gratification. Can long-term development still be a part of the ruling culture?
We will see.
I am hopeful; however, the world is in its current condition at the hands of these young whipper-snappers.
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed.
President Barack Obama has been President of the United States of America for less than 100 days. He is making choices as a sitting President that are, in his opinion, in the best interest of the United States.
Isn’t it ironic that the same people who chose to elect G.W. Bush twice, no less, are the same people who are ready to put President Obama on the hotseat?
Certainly, anyone can be elected President once, even under dubious circumstances; however, to elect him twice should inspire a huge question mark as to the wisdom of those who made that choice. Those who made that mistake, and clearly it was mistake, should have a photo of themselves pressing the button/popping the chad/ or whatever system they used to elect G.W. in the first place, placed in front of them before they are allowed to open their mouths.
I suspect their following statement would be, “…uh…never mind.”
We must allow President Obama the freedom to make choices as he sees fit and then support those choices as Americans. I also believe it is our duty to question his choices, but we must also consider from where we came in the last eight years.
Those who are questioning the loudest, I must ask you, “How was your assessment of the government in the last eight years? Are you happy?”
Patience, my fellow Americans. Patience.