By Fareed Zakaria
Growing up in India in the 1960s and 1970s, I always thought of America as the future. It was the place where the newest technology, the best gadgets and the latest fads seemed to originate. Seemingly exotic political causes — women’s liberation, gay rights, ageism — always seemed to get their start on the streets or in the legislatures and courts of the United States. Indians couldn’t imagine embracing all American trends — in fact, we rejected some things outright — because they were too edgy for a country like ours. But we had a sneaking suspicion that today’s weird California fad would become tomorrow’s conventional practice.
For me, Tuesday’s elections brought back that sense of America as the land of the future. The presidential race is being discussed as one that was “about nothing,” with no message or mandate. But that’s simply not true. Put aside the reelection of Barack Obama and consider what else happened this week