For the past few months, like millions of people across the globe, I have been keenly following the trajectory of the US Presidential Election campaign. During the course of the campaign, I watched the three debates between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney on Youtube, shook my head at the below-par performance of President Obama in the first presidential debate and tsked tsked disapprovingly as Romney made the “binders full of women” remark. I was not the only one who contracted the US election fever. Each and every word and action of the two Presidential candidates were picked apart and analyzed thoroughly by news channels, media outlets and people across the globe. In conversations with my family members and work colleagues, I freely peppered my remarks with terms such as “swing state”, “early voting” and “electoral votes” and vehemently argued the pros of “Obamacare” and poked fun at “Romensia”. But here is the catch: I am not a US citizen, nor have I ever stepped into the US. There is absolutely nothing that would explain the enthusiasm I have for political happenings of a faraway capitalist country that, according to many experts, is over the hill and past its glory period. So, while I cheered jubilantly as news trickled in that Obama was re-elected, I had a nagging thought that just refused to go away. “Why am I so interested in knowing the election results of another country while I do not know the name of the political representative who governs my constituency”?
Well, I think it is because of a combination of factors. The US presidential elections are always a spectacle unto themselves. And with the TV polls predicting a cliffhanger, the race this year only became more interesting. So while political pundits tried their best to predict the results, avid enthusiasts like me just sat back and relaxed, enjoying the spectacle as the two presidential candidates came face to face in televised debates (something that might never, ever happen in India) and vehemently argued their positions on various issues. Maybe it is because, notwithstanding the recent recession that has put great dents into the American Dream and all the talk of how countries like China, India and Brazil will overtake US in the future, the latter is still the most powerful country in the world right now and its president is still the most powerful political leader in the world. While there is an increasing buzz of how the world is shifting from a unipolar world dominated by a single country for the past century, deep inside, we still know that the day is yet to come. And until then, every four years, the Americans will continue to entertain people all around the globe by unfailingly putting out the greatest political show in the world for all whole world to see, if not participate.