Sunday, April 13, 2008

Guiding Light

As an American citizen living in the United Kingdom, I have been the victim of my fair share of anti-American jibes. Prior to that awful day back in November 2000, I was able to seek solace in the fact that there was nothing really fundamentally wrong with my homeland. But then George W. Bush stepped into the Oval Office. People screamed “how can the world’s powerful country be ruled by an idiot?” Try as I might, I could not summon an answer. Similarly, when John Kerry was ousted from the White House race in 2004, people more or less laughed, “How can the world’s most powerful country elect an idiot to the Presidency, twice?” Even making remarks about Tony “brown-nose” Blair did little more than land me in hot water.

But now I am glad to announce that the dark ages are over. America has found a guiding light out of this mess. No, not Vietnam vet John McCain, who once said, with a straight face, that he was willing to keep US troops in Iraq for another century in order to get the job done.

And sorry, I’m also not talking about Hilary Clinton, who basically rose through the ranks due to her marital status and has wavered of Iraq for the last 5 years.

Nope, I’m talking about Barack Obama. For starters, he is the only Presidential candidate whose name is not recognized by Microsoft Word. Now that, boys and girls, epitomises change right there.

On a more serious level, the United States, a country where 44% of the population is non-white, has waited 232 years to elect a non-white leader. For the first time, the front runner is black. If Obama is elected, America would be uplifted in the knowledge that racial boundaries had been bowled over. This would be a success for ethnic minorities all over the world, safe in the knowledge that power is not reliant on numbers. In a sense of the word, I can identify with the ethnic oppression many minorities deal with on a day to day basis. No, I’ve never been physically beaten or intimidated due to my mixed blood, but I have been jibed on a regular basis, something which will never become bearable.

That is why a multi-ethnic president is needed: so that the rest of the world can just maybe consider re-evaluating their stance concerning the US of A.

Such is the magnitude of Barack Obama’s international potential that we could be seeing a non-military solution to the Iraq problem by 2013, the end of Obama’s potential first term. This is not just more political hot air: Obama is the only candidate so far that has said he would be willing to talk to leaders from “The Other Side,” people such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il. This shows an exemplary commitment to world peace. Whilst that may not seem particularly relevant in Chorpus Christi, Texas, or Montgomery, Alabama but to a teenager living overseas, international harmony is of the utmost importance.

But Obama is not a one trick pony. In a March 2007 Washington Post opinion column, Journalist Eugene Robinson characterized him as “the personification of both-and,” a messenger who rejects “either-or” political choices, and could “move the nation beyond the “Culture Wars”” of the 1960s. To some, this may sound like flip-flopping, but for a potential President to come out and say that he’ll work with people to the benefit of the greater good says a lot about his commitment to national progression, and so not only could he brighten America’s overseas image, he may be the key to reviving the deathly ill dollar.

People may say Obama lacks in experience but the kind of promise emanating from Barack Obama is established at birth. I am not a religious person, but I know I will be praying on November 4th 2008 is the beginning of a brighter era for America. Never before has the country been in such a rut, but at the same time never have there been such momentous prospects of renewal. This is just too good an opportunity to miss.

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