Given the continuous stream of outside events having a direct impact on the United States, isn’t it time for American voters to start taking account of the global environment we are a part of? Apparently not, if the 2012 presidential candidates have anything to say about it. For Switzerland’s News, Patrik Etschmayer explains that for people outside the United States, the campaign makes it seem as though the rest of the world doesn’t even exist.
For Switzerland’s News, Patrik Etschmayer writes in part:
Obama stressed the need for more time to solve problems and that he has learned a lot over the last four years. His speech was at times combative, but ultimately it was an apology: The dung heap was huge, please let me finish the job! For spectators beyond U.S. borders, there was above all one question: Doesn’t America care about the rest of the world anymore?
This question – if anything – was answered only indirectly. Obama made fun of Romney/Ryan foreign policy ignorance, but didn’t want to belabor the issue. And Republican comments on the subject were even more indirect: The above-mentioned massive increase in the defense budget, which must primarily be interpreted as a warning to China.
The rest of the world apparently doesn’t exist for U.S. voters, although it is more and more clear that the interaction, feedback, and interconnectivity of the financial markets are affecting the local economy. However, because that isn’t obvious enough, it isn’t mentioned.
During the financial crisis, this tendency toward isolationism grew stronger everywhere, even threatening to fragment the European Union again. But retreating into a smaller system in our connected world is in complete contradiction to force of fact, exemplified by the reality that not even big nations like the U.S. or Russia can be self-sufficient and maintain themselves as they stand today. The election campaign in the United States shows that politicians see a chance to score political points with voters by making every effort to obscure this aspect of reality.
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