Dare to be different is a pet phrase for me. If one has to stand alone on a principle or conviction then he can and should. But one need not be different just for the sake of being different from others. This second behavior would then be aptly called ‘eccentricity’. Though Word web gives the meaning for this word as ‘Strange and unconventional behavior’ there has to be a tinge of madness in it also since people give any eccentric person a slight look.
Do the Americans come under this category? When the whole world was driving on the left they alone made it to right. Were they right ? What made them drive right, none knows. Was it just because the whole world was ‘left’, I mean driving on the left side of the roads. Or did they want the whole world steer to ‘right’? Good rightists, anyway! (No political connotation, please!)
Steering to right was sometimes interpreted as showing their insolence to British. But they have thrown their weight with British as far as weighing is concerned! While most of the world weighs in Kilos they still keep pounding on pounds. Their ‘mileage’ also is still as good as British. So the theory of being insolent to British fails.
Also they are not as good as British in many respects. For British, the successful policy of divide and rule is kid stuff. From time immemorial they are adept in this art. They would break anything into pieces or at least into two, like for instance, India and Pakistan. Their greatness is that even after breaking people’s neck like that, they would be able to keep ‘cordial’ relationship with them. It may be under the guise of forum like Commonwealth.
Americans show the opposite of this British feature. If British used to play both with the cat and mouse successfully and simultaneously, the Americans play a different ball game. They first play with mouse and try to make it a big bandicoot so that it now thinks that it can defeat the cat. Whether that happens or not, now the ‘big’ bandicoot starts giving problem to its own mentor. Mentor now becomes ‘enemy # 1'. Now the fight would be not between the cat and mouse but the bandicoot and the mentor. When Britain has been successful with its noble philosophy of ‘divide and rule’, U.S. is not successful with its cat and mouse game. Look at Vietnam. The Americans supported Ngo Dinh Diem, an anti communist against Ho Chi Minh and to their bitter experience Diem turned against Americans.
If that was a thing of past, their present problem with the Taliban backed Al-Quida is another example proving that U.S. is not adept like their British allies in such international games. In all their political ploys every time they get terrific backfire. The problem is they never learn from their mistakes. Probably another sign of their eccentricities.