Wednesday, 31 October 2012


I thought that this article was really interesting. It gives a different way of looking at the election from a Briton's view. I am following the election, even though I am not an American citizen and the result will have no effect on me, but, I still find myself fascinated, and wonder, why? This article looks at that 'why?' and tries to summarise a little more how we are involved.

Whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins next week, this election is simply none of our business

It's unimaginable that Americans would invest as much emotion and energy in our elections as we do in theirs. Why do we delude ourselves that they care?

Many political activists from across the spectrum in the UK are this month in the United States campaigning for one candidate or another. This is an integral, if bizarre, part of modern political activism. British individuals, with no vote, who pay no US tax, do not live in the US, and are not subject to American laws, are knocking on American doors lobbying Americans to vote for their choice of candidate.

It’s easy to see why Brits – or the British political class – are so infatuated with American politics. It has the drama, schmaltz and showbiz that British elections lack. Although we famously don’t like it when British politicians try to emulate the American political style, we love to follow the ins and outs of American elections on a minute level.
Recent polling in several European countries reflects a strong bias toward one candidate in particular. According to a Gallup International poll, 97% of Germans, 96% of the Irish, and 95% of the French approve of President Obama. That compares to Obama’s 44% approval in the US. Whose opinion matters more – the people of America, who experience life in their country in a way only they can, and who are subject to American laws and American taxes? Or the Germans, French and Brits, whose opinions are formed mainly from their armchairs?

The president is simply a figurehead of a very pervasive culture. America’s influence comes from the innovation of its entrepreneurs, its film, music, lifestyle, values and the products it exports. The world around us is an American creation; think of any important element of modern life – the brands, foods and technologies we use, the culture we enjoy – and you’ll see where America’s power truly lies.

Main Street, not Marseille
The 2012 election could produce a win for either Romney or Obama. It is close in a way I can’t remember. Come January 21, President Romney or President Obama will face the same geopolitical questions: will the West allow Iran to go nuclear? Will Israel-Palestine ever be settled? Should American assets be used to stop the bloodshed in Syria? Come January 21, President Romney or President Obama will face the same burning desire to be isolationist and focus on re-inflating the American domestic economy.

The foreign policy debate – the final of the three debates – highlighted the very slight foreign policy difference between the candidates. It also previeweda coming insularity caused by the great economic slump. Come January 21, do you really think the man on the street in Middlesbrough, Marseille or Milan will notice the difference? I suspect not. 

Source: ndependent