By Columnist Charles Payne
The media has been focused on the sham elections in parts of Ukraine, but it is the election of a new leader in India, which could change the world.
There is a serious movement going on around the world, where people are looking to elect strong leaders, who promote self-reliance and greatness. We have seen this with Japan, where Abe was ushered into office, not only to direct his central bank to print money, but more so to kick the nation in the backside and rekindle memories of former greatness. In Abe's case, getting young Japanese men out of their parent's basements and into the workforce is a paramount goal.
Move a little to the south, and the world's fourth most populace nation is on the verge of electing Joko Widodo, affectionately known as Jokowi. His election platform is all about optimism, and about ditching the elites that held power through decades of crony rule. You can feel the spirit of America's old west, when Jokowi called of a "mental revolution," and you can hear the spirit of the new Tea Party, when he asked citizens to cut "deep dependence" on foreign investment and imported food.
"I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." -Barack Obama
While Indonesia will look for increased tax revenue (euphemism for higher taxes), Jokowi wants to focus on free markets to boost agricultural output, and he will cut fuel subsidies.
Now India is prepared to move away from dynastic rule that has squandered their economic moment, built on the largest democracy and their giant middle-class.
Narendra Modi is not going to become India's next leader and go on a tour of the planet, bowing to world leaders and dismissing the notion that everyone is great -so everyone is equal. On the contrary, as governor of Gujarat, Modi developed a reputation for a serious strand of nationalism that saw mass riots and thousands of Muslims killed and displaced. The economy in his region, however, significantly outperformed the overall national economy.
Modi has demanded a strong mandate, and if exit polls are correct, that is exactly what he will have. Modi's economic agenda:
Minimal state intervention
Create manufacturing jobs
Mass infrastructure projects
A social media superstar (Modi) has galvanized the nation's 149 million young voters in much the same way as Abe has in Japan, and Jokowi has in Indonesia.
There are legitimate concerns about nationalism boiling over, as chauvinism is essentially a feeling of superiority and glory, often at the expense of the minority and neighbors. All of these nations needed to take these risks. India and Indonesia have plodded along under dynasties; while Japan has been lost for two decades, after their quest for global economic conquest came crashing down. These nations need to feel and act great.
All three are embracing what America is throwing away- a sense of pride and determination to be great. No one is selling hope; they are selling a game plan. It is all about optimism, not whining. Sure, there is an anti-elitism backlash, but that is not the same as the efforts in America to dismantle capitalism. In fact, America is shielding its elites through Fed policy and cronyism. If exaggerated, patriotism is what it takes to light a torch under the masses, and to get them moving toward achievement, rather than toward food stamps; perhaps America could use a dose of this.