Living in Asia for the last 8 years I have been able to observe my home country (the United States) from a very different view. Not just being 13,000 miles away - but seeing the change in perceptions from the fastest growing region in the world and how the US relevancy has diminished slowly but surely.
In reading the local paper in Singapore today I came to a realization the US has simply become another random country to the global citizenry.
Here is a quote from an article covering a speech by Mr Lee Kuan Yew to local university students in Singapore. Mr Lee was the first Prime Minister of Singapore who led the country for three decades and is credited with much of the success in growing the country from a fishing village on an island off of Malaysia to today's global commerce center.
"Citing how a national divide has seen "constant bickering" between political camps in the West, such as the United States, France and Germany, the former Minister Mentor and current senior adviser to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation said the Republic will become "just like another ordinary country with the same problems" should a similar situation develop here."
Emphasis is mine - but it is interesting that a country like Singapore - which is basically the size of a large US city - would not want to become "...like another ordinary country.." of which the United States is one.
After the fold - comments on the concept of the meritocratic system in Singapore in comparison to some of the potential presidential candidates currently on the US scene and how I see this pointing to clear differences in the Dems vs Repubs.
Below is a comment that got me thinking about the issues facing the US as we consider the upcoming elections.
"Mr Lee, .... stressed that the meritocratic system that Singapore has always subscribed to ... has to stay.
He said: "So my worry about the future is whether we'll have the same national solidarity, the same desire to increase educational levels and increase performance, and having the best people in the best jobs or holding the most important jobs. Once we veer away from that meritocratic system, our performance will drop."
Ok - you can debate meritocracy but the basic concept is sound. You should want the best people in the most important jobs. You should want your leaders to be the best and brightest. You should want your country led by people smarter than you - rather than those with whom you could have a beer or swap stories about being on academic probation or the D's you got in Econ 101.
So you can see where I am going with this - here is my very basic view of politics in the US and changes in voters views.
Democrats - focus on the concept of meritocracy - we want the smartest guy in class - the one busting the curve for the rest of us - to take that important job. We see the benefit of intelligence in solving the kinds of issue an entire nation faces.
Republicans - focus on the concept of idiocy - 'the average Joe", the guy you want to have a beer with, the common man who just uses common sense. Everyone can relate right - you balance your checkbook so how much harder can it be to just balance the budget of the largest economy in the world? Plus - the guy has nice hair! Darn intellectual elitists - Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!
So - how do we solve this? How do we get the best people in the best jobs and retake our rightful place as leaders of the free world?
Your guess is as good as mine. From afar - I don't see it happening in 2012. From afar - a tiny nation smaller than NYC is already looking elsewhere.......