November 4, 2008. Perhaps a day we will one day be describing to our grandchildren as the most historic turning point of the century, if not of the modern world.
Today the voters in USA (out of the only 20% ‘black’ and more than 50% ‘white’) will make the first Black President in the entire history of the country.
Barack Obama is not just black. He is the most un-American American we knew. Americans in our perception were white. (Well, there were blacks, but they were only driving taxis and mostly working as detectives – not running the country) Americans in our perception did not have Kenyan grandmothers or Indonesian step fathers, let alone Muslim middle names. Obama changed that all.
I think the even more significant factor than his color is his exposure to the developing world. Come on which American President ever went to school in a developing Asian nation?
The demarcation was so obvious. McCain stood for everything ‘white’ – pro-war, pro-Christian, pro-rich, anti-abortion, anti-gay rights. These were the very causes that would have made him President without contest three or four decades ago.
Sorry McCain old boy, America has changed. It has changed for good.
When the majority of voters select Barack Obama today to lead the most powerful nation in the world, they would do so not because of his color, his ethnicity or his religion. They would elect him because he is the one who represents their dreams. He is the one who can make a change. May not be economically – but more importantly in our perceptions. Obama might not change USA. But he will paint the world differently.
I congratulate the first world’s President of the United States.
(PS. ‘The Ugly American’ is a metaphor popularized by the 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, of the same name. Ironically, the “ugly American” of the book title actually refers to one of the heroes, a plain-looking engineer named Homer Atkins, who lives with the local people, comes to understand their needs, and gives genuinely useful assistance with small-scale projects such as the development of a simple bicycle-powered water pump. Is there anything better to describe Obama?)