CEO of Microsoft?
Shjade, you're such a clever smartass that I can't tell if you expected a serious response to this or not, but I'll give you one anyway, if only to play along, and also out of the high regard I have for your intellect. I'll feel silly afterwards if you were just pulling my leg, though. :)
If you're suggesting that there may be businesspeople or people with enormous wealth and influence whose public clout exceeds that of the President's, I would say that I personally disagree, although I might be convinced if you can make a strong enough case.
Off the top of my head, I would say that the historic and public importance attached to the office of the President can be seen in the fact that so many people around the world know who many U.S. Presidents were and what they did, whereas so few people know anything about what any CEO does or did, and same goes for owners of businesses. Who are the most famous and influential businesspeople or rich people, either now or historically? Can you name more of them than you can name Presidents? Personally I can't. (I would give you my lists of each, off the top of my head, but they're both embarrassingly short, and I'd rather not demonstrate how dumb I can be. Nevertheless, the first list is still puny compared to the second.) Actually I don't even know who the current Microsoft CEO is, because it isn't Bill Gates anymore, right? Nathan Myrvold or something? I dunno.
No, he's not. He's not even a blip outside of the U.S. to most non-Western countries, and
Holy crap, you're the second person now trying to argue against the significance of the President in world affairs and/or public opinion. I feel like I'm in France or something. :)
Based on my limited education, my understanding is that no single figure in the world has the public clout or impact on public opinion that the U.S. President has, not even close. The second figure on the list would be the Pope, I think, and that would be a distant second. Also, if you want to argue about importance to the largest number of human beings, then you have to consider the distribution of world population, in which case the rulers of China and India must be high up in your list; but their importance is diminished outside of their respective geographic locales.
I'm hardly an authority about all this, and I would be glad to defer to anyone with better education or knowledge about these topics. You'll have to say some stuff to convince me that you know what you're talking about, though.
those that do know him, view the States, and by extension the President, as a fool and a meddler in things he shouldn't.
The fact that so many
people view the USA and the President in this way is proof
of its and his significance. Disliking or hating someone is totally different from feeling indifference towards them or not caring at all about them or not knowing who they are.
The U.S. has had a seriously damaged international relationship with a lot of countries in the last decade. A lot of them are European. So this? At best is a PR stunt to show himself more open minded than his political opponents, or trying to distance himself from the North Carolina debacle.
This is a valid opinion, and I respect it, but I certainly do not share it, and in fact I consider it somewhat naive and largely indefensible. That's not meant as a personal slight. I just don't know how anyone can become well-educated without finding out how important the actions and opinions of US Presidents have always been and continue to be.
Am I saying that every President's every utterance is earth-shaking? Certainly not. But I guarantee you that most if not all major newspapers around the world will announce Obama's latest position-change in their top, front-page headline, and that's because readers will want to know, whether they're happy about it or much the opposite. (If I'm wrong here, it's only in the placement of the headline on those pages; and I would find even that surprising.)
But, I would be very interested in hearing counter-arguments. I don't need a treatise or a list of articles to read, but if you can just tell me a little more about what you think and why you think that, maybe I will be persuaded to agree with you, or at the very least understand your position better and learn something from the process of dialog. No obligation, of course, just an open invitation.