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The Star Spangled BubbleBY: Jade Azim | Category: Politics | Submitted: 2012-11-03 11:34:33
Article Summary: "How perplexing must it be for an American to see how much attention others have on their country when they need not do the same?.."
My American friends have often asked me, in this pivotal year, why the presidential race intrigues me to such a great extent.
At first, I find myself shocked that such a question even needs asking. But then you realise that an American's perception for the world and the priorities they undertake are significantly different than for the rest of the world. And not because of the stereotype of ignorance; it is not under the control of any ordinary person.
As a Briton, and perhaps more significantly a European, the world around me directly impacts my day-to-day life; and none more so than the USA.
Aldous Huxley famously wrote his novel Brave New World in response to what he viewed as a rapid process of Americanisation in the United Kingdom. His prophecy was over-fulfilled.
America doesn't just impact Britain and indeed the world politically or economically. Its influence is often even more explicit than that.
From the moment you are born onto these isles, your culture suddenly becomes a subordinate to the American way of life. You watch countless hours of American TV, you listen to American artists, you eat from American restaurants, you get employed by American corporations, you learn the little quirks of American life; the little brown bags they carry their packed lunches in, the little red fire hydrants, the proms and graduation ceremonies that have become commonplace in even British schools, you may even find yourself spelling 'arse' as 'ass', even if your accent doesn't accommodate the implied pronunciation. Everything you do is influenced from an outside source.
Then you think what life must be like for a citizen in that influential nation; they have no direct influence on their culture, unless they happen to have fallen into the trap of One Direction. They need not pay close attention to other cultures because it is their own that dominates the rest of the world. The Star Spangled bubble needs not be escaped from in the way the British bubble does.
On a political-economic note, it may start becoming significantly important to keep a close eye on the emerging China, or the loss of a European market. But for now, America still dominates land, sea and air. Their foreign policy is everyone else's foreign policy. Reaganomics becomes the foundation of Thatcherism; George Bush suddenly becomes Tony Blair's best friend. Ever since the end of the Cold War, the world has been uni-polar. The American sphere of influence is the Earth in its entirety. It becomes essential for those not living under Old Glory to keep an eye out for their antics. You just ask Guatemala or the Middle East.
Suddenly, Britain, a nation that once with great destruction conquered half the world, is obsolete and irrelevant. You can no longer remain unknowing of what happens past Land's End. It is the 51st state without representation. Likewise, the inauguration of a Conservative or Labour PM is only of significance to you, Americans don't care nor have any real need to.
So how different is the world for a citizen of the United States? For now, it is significantly smaller. The nations are simply other detached planets that revolve around an American sun. There is therefore little need to keep up to date on their petty politics.
But to answer my friend's question, if that American sun happens to experience a solar flare, the rest of us will feel it; but if we go off orbit, there will be little chance it would make it onto CNN.
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