I was sitting in a North Beach coffee shop in San Francisco this afternoon with some Thai nationals and American-Thai friends, and the conversation inevitably turned to Thai politics. It always does.
The big discussion was how Thailand could be governed effectively when 99.99% of the time politicians are at each other’s throats, hurling accusations, accusing each other of slander, corruption, malfeasance and more. (Most of what they accuse each other of is actually quite true, especially the corruption part).
The amount of time spent on grooming one’s personal vanity and public image far surpasses anything imaginable in Western culture. If all that time and energy would be devoted to serving the electorate instead of themselves, perhaps Thailand might be governable.
But, who knows. Thai politics are an enigma. The country seems to get by from day to day and manage to run itself, while politicians continue to bicker as if they are totally unaware of anything but themselves. Thais who become naturalised American citizens really are happy to be away from it all.
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