Search the Site

Not That This Could Ever Happen, But …

An economics student in Portugal, who grew up in Angola, recently wrote to say he was disappointed that we’ve never written anything about Africa. He is right. But, I told him, in our upcoming N.Y. Times Magazine column (due out Nov. 5), there is a short but intriguing bit about the causes of civil war in African countries. He wrote back to say he’d check it out — and, in passing, he wrote that even in Europe, Asia, and South America, “people only care about what’s going on in the States.” So much so, he said, that “people even think everyone should have the right to choose the American president.”

Now that’s a fun scenario to think about, isn’t it — the American president being elected by the citizens of the world. Not that this could ever happen, of course, or should, but can you imagine how U.S. politics would change if voters around the world who are directly or indirectly influenced by U.S. policy had some kind of say in who was running the country?