Obviously not in India…who wants to be known as the guy who attends meaningless functions and cuts ribbons? I am talking about USA. I mean, why not? Why should I not want to be the next president of the USA? I know…because I am me and not a politician. Correct answer. But after watching the second of the three presidential debates, all I could think of was ‘Aah, I wish I was born here.’
The reason I felt that was that even though I am the last person one can expect to discuss politics (I didn’t even want to read up on it during MBA interviews), I followed everything that they said. Of course, they water it down, so common people understand. But it wasn’t even pointing towards bigger issues of world significance. It all boiled down to the conversations I usually have with Deepak. Obama and McCain weren’t answering anyone’s questions. They were just throwing refined mud at each other and saying things that they have come to realize off late…things that i have been saying for decades (I’ve almost lived three). Some of the points they covered:
- Wall Street did greedy things – Go figure!
- Consumers got drunk with money, power and started purchasing even what they don’t want. There has to be a way of disciplining that – Costcos should really be shivering in their shoes now.
- Obama talked about the fine print that insurance companies use…his mother was denied insurance when she was dying of cancer because it was an existing condition – What about fine prints everywhere else that companies use to save themselves from being sued unnecessarily. The reason you have to wait in the emergency room with a broken arm without any painkillers because you didn’t ride to the hospital in $600 ambulance. The reason you end up paying much more on everything than you calculated. Nothing is clean or transparent. But unless it pinches you real hard, what are the chances the fine print will go away?
- People should join the PeaceCorps – Well, I tried. When I didn’t have my VISA, perfect time to volunteer. But guess what, only American citizens allowed. Well, all citizens are busy trying to make use of their employable status and get paying jobs. Would you blame them?
- Alternative Energy should be encouraged. As citizens, we should try to save energy in our homes – Hey! What about switching off the TV once in a while or taking the bus? I am doing all I can to conserve energy in a country that is not even mine. But that is because I am not drunk on the American way of life. It is going to be difficult to change a whole nation. And I can’t believe I can say ‘I told you so’ to a country.
My take on this is that all this talk is common sense stuff that comes with respecting other lives, living in harmony and having limits. With Obama coming in as a saviour, it just makes things worse. People are expecting change; they are waiting for a hero to rise and wipe away all their problems. But when the change doesn’t happen, it will be worse. The silver lining will not be enough. Atleast for that reason, McCain would be a good choice. I hope I am wrong. But, it is bloated of me to think I can say, ‘I told you so’ to the future president of America. Or maybe not. Suddenly, I am not so against starting a family here.