Dear Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, I realize how frustrated you are with what the global image of the US government and society has become with the presidency of Donald J. Trump. I understand that you were frustrated that last time around, when your moderate candidate Hilary Clinton could not get sufficient support to defeat him. On behalf of the whole world, however, I beg you to consider not to turn to the far left candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for a change.
You may think that it is extremely pretentious of me to speak on behalf of the whole world but please, hear me out. I was born in Moscow, the capital of the former Soviet Union in 1987, and I was fortunate to benefit greatly even from my country’s halfhearted embrace of the modern world that America has done so much to bring about.
Let me continue here in a way you probably would not have expected. I would just like to list the things that I am — and the whole would should be — profoundly grateful to the American people — past and present for.
I am grateful to America for essentially introducing the world to large-scale-radio and television networks (pioneered by RCA). For airplanes whose feasibility was first demonstrated by Wright Brothers. And for the first commercially viable jet airplane Boeing 707. For transistors invented by Bell Labs without which modern computing would be impossible. For personal computers that we all use that were first introduced by IBM and enhanced by Apple. For cell phones that were brought to the world by Motorola. For the laptop on which I am typing these words (whose first ancestor was first demonstrated by IBM). For social networks like this very web-site. For pioneering almost all the crucial medical innovations of the last 100 years, from first introducing a genuine general anaesthetic (ether), to mass-producing the first antibiotic (penicillin) to chemotherapy that could have saved my mother if her cancer had been discovered early enough, to insulin that was first brought to the masses by Eli Lilly. For the first car available to ordinary people (Ford T). For countless Hollywood movies and Disney cartoons which made so much of my childhood and adolescence (I think especially of you, Peter Jackson, for I remember the astonishment with which I reacted to my brother telling me that the first episode of Lord of the Rings was coming). Despite all the things for which people like to criticize Hollywood. For sliced bread pioneered in no other state but Iowa in 1912. For New Hampshire’s Dean Kamen who came up with Segway and thanks to whom I can ride an electric scooter in Marseille. Even for fracking that makes it so much cheaper for people all over the world to move over long distances today. That could even be the only way that could actually significantly reduce global CO2 emissions without making everyone much poorer, by helping countries like China and India to move from coal to gas. The list could go on and on, perhaps, for scores of pages.
And notice a few patterns here. All the things I mentioned were invented by privately or self-employed persons. They were made available first to Americans and then to almost everyone on this green and blue planet by private companies. Those private companies that are supposedly only good for exploiting everyone but their directors and shareholders and polluting everything. Then, many of the things on the list were not invented by Americans or only by Americans but American companies made them practical. Take the wonder of penicillin. It was accidentally invented by Scottish scientist Alexander Flemming but the first patient treated with it died when the supply ran out. Only when American company Merck managed to mass-produce it did it really start to save lives. The same with insulin. Finally, it is not surprising that America became the world leader in invention and especially in innovation in the 20th century.
The American private sector, not politicians, has increasingly moved the whole world forward because, unlike in most other developed countries, it was not as shackled by nationalizations and regulations, and it had sufficient incentives because taxes were not too high and are still lower than almost everywhere else.
And two of the candidates on offer for you in the Democratic primaries — Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — have made it totally clear that they would do their best to dramatically change the situation American business faces for the worst. They are eager to make the US economy look much more like that of much of Europe but it is not from Europe where so many wonderful things we take for granted have come from.
If you are still not convinced, ask yourself another question. Suppose you do not care that much about further economic growth. Ask yourself what will happen if the US economic growth slows dramatically to the one of say France in the last 20 years if Sanders and Warren succeed in implementing their vision. Which economy will soon become the largest in the world? That of China. Of China whose government has recently started recreating Mao’s totalitarianism and has arguably conducted the 20th century first mass ethnic repression against the Uighurs. Do you really want a country like this do be the biggest economic, and ultimately, military power?
The world as you know it is hugely imperfect. But it is full of opportunity, mostly peaceful and allowing you a level of well-being that would astonish even the greatest kings of the past or even US’s founding father and richest man at the time George Washington who was rich enough to afford wooden dentures. If you want to ensure that it is preserved and continues to improve, please, for goodness’ sake reject the far left, please vote against Sanders and Warren, thank you!