http://www.latimes.com/news/politic...s-a-warning-to-obama-20120514,0,3845649.story By David Lauter May 14, 2012, 3:00 a.m. Americans tend to think of their politics as being a thing unto itself â not related to contests elsewhere in the world. But the economic crisis that began in 2008 swept through all the major, developed market economies, and the political waves that have washed through their elections follow a similar pattern. Elsewhere in Europe, however, national leaders have fallen right and left. On the right, Merkelâs ally, French President Nicolas Sarkozy lost his reelection bid earlier this month to Socialist Francois Hollande. On the left, Britainâs Labor party, which had governed for 13 years, lost in 2010 to the Conservatives under David Cameron. Similarly, in Spain, the recession helped topple the socialist government in 2011. Governments have also fallen in Italy and Greece, among others. The swing voters in elections in most democracies tend to be non-ideological. When times are bad, they tend to agree with candidates who argue that the incumbentâs policies havenât worked, letâs try something new. Right now, thatâs the theme being put forward by the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.