The U.S elections have come and gone with plenty of lessons and revelations both good and bad. The whole world watched with keen interest and expectations. News and updates on the American electoral process dominated the front pages of major news platforms around the world as well as social media trends.
Though A lot of persons in Nigeria engaged in what seems to be a global debate. A lot more dismissed the interest of their compatriots in the U.S elections as misplaced priorities.
The United States is arguably the strongest nation on earth with massive economic and military power. It has held the position of the sole hegemon for more than 2 decades since the end of the cold war. Although its powers are being challenged by other rising powers, the United States is still the most powerful country on earth.
The U.S has been running the show for about 50 years and every single continent, in ways more than one, has felt the impact of the United States. At some point, when the U.S sneezes, the whole world catches cold. In many instances, the U.S has been referred to as the “World’s Police” or as “The Leader of the Free World” with the strongest network of allies scattered across various continents.
The last 4 years in this powerful nation has been concerning. The world saw the rise of a movement capable of altering the direction the U.S has taken for some years now. A movement that intends to redefine the relationship of the U.S with the rest of the world and return the world’s most powerful country back into its old days of isolationism. This time, we weren’t having two candidates with a not so different foreign policy agenda. We had two candidates with fundamentally different positions on world issues. Considering the status of the U.S, this ought to concern the world.
I do not think that being actively interested in the outcome of U.S politics and elections is a misplaced priority. Whether you are in Europe, America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, or anywhere in the world, the outcome of the U.S elections will most likely affect your country and you in ways more than one.
As Africans, You have witnessed the rise in the activities of armed criminals this past 10 years. Nigerians are asking questions like how did the now rampaging bandits and insurgents get access to weapons easily? How was Boko haram able to get weapons in the early 2010s and wreck so much havoc? Do you know that the current proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Africa caused majorly by the instability that began in Libya a decade ago? The war in Libya is responsible for this upsurge in armed crimes across Africa because the conflict ensured the influx of weapons into the African regions, weapons that were not returned even after Gaddafi was overthrown. In case you don’t know, the Obama and Hillary government played a large role in making this happen. Libya is in shambles and armed crime is high in Africa because of the actions of the Obama Presidency. If Obama hadn’t acted the way he acted in Libya, we probably would be safer in Africa too. Look at what Obama has done and Why shouldn’t you as an African be interested in who becomes President of the U.S?
The Middle East has been at war even before I was born. I don’t think they have known 30 minutes of peace in the last 20 years. The U.S actions and policies are largely responsible for the conflict and escalation of conflict in that region. 17 years since the invasion of Iraq by America, the country is yet to recover. What about Afghanistan? That one is a warzone forever. Or is it the fact that U.S is the chief supplier of the weapons Saudi Arabia uses to destroy Yemen? In case you don’t know, Yemen is home to the world’s biggest humanitarian crises and the United States played a big role in this ugly situation. Why wouldn’t middle easterners be interested in who becomes the next U.S president?
After the second world war, Europe was completely destabilized. It was the U.S that came up with the historic “Marshall Plan” that helped Europe to pick up. U.S is the leader of NATO, much of Europe look up to the U.S to protect them from Russian aggression. U.S spends billions of dollars in improving the security of Europe. The last time I checked, there were over 30,000 U.S soldiers in Germany, a country in Europe and now with Chinese dominance of global market, Europe is looking to America to lead the fight against the Chinese. And you think Europeans are not interested in American politics or who becomes American President?
What about Asia? South Korea depends on the U.S for protection against a possible North Korean invasion. Japan depends on the U.S alliance both for economic purposes and military reasons. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other smaller countries that are being bullied by China depend on the U.S to help them stand up to Chinese aggression. China itself owes its economic development to the U.S. America’s decision to let China into the WTO changed China. A large percentage of big Chinese businesses have American affiliation. To dominate the world, China needs unrestricted access to international waterways controlled by America and they need to break the hegemony of global financial institutions controlled by America. A strategic action from America can halt China’s rise. A weak American President is China’s biggest wish. What about India? They need America’s Alliance for economic prosperity too or is it Iranians? The survival of their people from cruel international sanctions will depend on the foreign policy of who becomes the next U.S president.
One way or the other, the decisions made in America affect Africans, middle easterners, Europeans, Asians, and even other South American and North American countries like Canada and Mexico. This is why, even more than who becomes secretary-general of the United Nations, everyone should be more concerned about American politics and who becomes U.S president. You are entitled to have an opinion and discuss what affects you. American politics affects you because America affects all.
Caleb Onyeabor is a Nigerian intellectual, an avid advocate for political justice, social justice, and economic justice. Author of Diary of a Messed Up country. Follow him on Twitter via twitter.com/caleb_onyeabor
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