Been reading a lot about the Iowa Presidential Primary from the US in the last few days. It was not a massive surprise that Barack Obama won the Democratic side of things, and by rights will be the overall favourite to take it all at the end of the year? I’m wondering if this will really change America in a significant way, and hoping the answer is yes.
If a young black American, who’s often comes off as a cross between John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King (god, I hope that doesn’t give anybody all the wrong ideas), who had a Muslim African father (but is not Muslim himself, something I suspect has to be pointed out in every possible place to stop the bullshit — because Americans are definitely ready for a black president, but not a Muslim one), were to become President, I think it would incalculably change America’s perception in the world, and you would have to think, their actions.
We all know he’s not perfect, because no one is, and some (such as Paul Krugman) have expressed doubts about some of his policies, but he does seem to have enough skills, as well as new ideas, while also having a refreshing lack of old ideas and Washington crap. I think by default, he would deal differently with the Middle East, and they’d deal differently with him. Same goes for Africa — and if Kenya ends up being the next hellhole, he’s uniquely capable of trying to help that situation (Obama’s father was Kenyan).
Of course, maybe I’m just being horribly naive (or terminally hopeful), and maybe one guy no matter how new or well-intentioned, can possibly change the US machine much, but we can all hope. And of course, not being American, I don’t even get a say in this, except to be a sideline spectator like millions in the world.
We have to hope that Americans make the right choice in November, and there’s really no point now in thinking anything other than a Democrat is the way to go. After the last seven years, the whole world really deserves a different perspective — and so does America.
(Title link is to a nice piece on Obama from Rolling Stone last month. I love its final paragraph, which sums up a lot of what I’m think about Obama as well:)
So maybe it’s OK to let the grandiose things that an Obama presidency could represent overwhelm the less-stirring reality — i.e., Obama as more or less a typical middle-of-the-road Democrat with a lot of money and a well-run campaign. Maybe it’s OK because it’s not always about the candidates; sometimes it’s about us, what we want and what we want to believe. And if Barack Obama can carry that burden for us, why not let him? Seriously, why not? The happy ending doesn’t always have to ring false.