The more that I travel, the more I am amazed at the extent to which American culture, politics, and products have permeated every aspect of life around the world. It is one thing to expect American influences in Europe, where cultural connections are traditionally strong; it is a whole other ballpark to assume that a tiny town in the middle of Tanzania will be up-to-date on American happenings across the world–especially when one considers that plenty of Americans know little about the wider world around them. How many Americans do you know that could name a current Tanzanian politician? Or for that matter, how many could even name the continent where Tanzania is located? I am reminded of my trip to Tanzania a few years back, where two small stands selling traditional crafts smartly capitalized on the craze for all things American surrounding Barack Obama’s election. They may have painted the American flag backwards, and “Clin Ton” may have first been spelled “Clington” (only for the offending “g” to be corrected by a discerning observer and subsequently painted over), but it ultimately shows that even the smallest shop owner in Tanzania is aware (and influenced by) things happening on the other side of the world.
If Hillary ever gets tired of the American political scene, she can always fall back on her shop in Tanzania….