OPINION: Why Obama?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.''
Martin Luther King Jr.
Yes, you might label him with any of the following titles you wish to, prophet, martyr, philosopher, warrior, patriot, but to me he is all in one. Though he cannot be physically seen, yet far in vision King could be seen smiling happily and giving thanks to the Lord that he has been vindicated both in word and deed, hence the rise of a black man to the zenith of American politics.
Therefore, as the re-writing of one of the world's major historical events came to pass, one wonders why such a unique event attracted a massive universal following across nations, races and religions thus heralding the inauguration of the world's first ever globally anticipated president, in the person of Barrack Obama which was held on the 20th of January 2009.
In this regard, this article aims at conducting a comprehensive diagnosis of not only the reasons for the unprecedented popularity of the recently concluded U.S elections and further making a critical analysis of the confidence and expectations bestowed on the new administration, but also included are some of the reasons why President Obama needed to be elected. Below is a step-by-step reasoning of the 2008 U.S presidential elections.
Reasons for the massive global interest in the 2008 US elections
Reason 1: US Might
When I first heard of the saying that 'when the United States sneezes the rest of the world catches cold', I was perplexed by uncertainty and disbelief as the in-depth and gravity of such a statement was too solid for my mental consumption and digestion but thanks to my physical metamorphosis and intellectual evolution that over the years eventually helped broadened my horizon to comprehend the veracity in such a pronouncement which was simply talking about U.S global influence. Widely regarded as both the custodian of the world and the last hope for mankind, it is very right to say that when the U.S sneezes the rest of the world certainly catches cold.
U.S Might is neither an utopia nor a mere dream as it is plainly visible from various dimensions ranging from infrastructural advancement, technological sophistication, military strength, economic power, political influence and democratic supremacy and so on, which are incomparable to none in the world.
That notwithstanding, based on factual analysis this strength is arguably believed to be on a downward trend. Due to various reasons, the international popularity of this cradle of civilization is gradually diminishing over the years. Controversially, either by hook or by crook U.S global dominance has been widely described as the greatest ever powerful nation stronger than all previous superpowers of the Greek, Great British and Russian eras.
Therefore, as widespread coverage and close monitoring of elections among the international community is not a new phenomenon in the world considering the past elections of most of the influential countries of socio-economic and political prowess, such as the U.S, U.K, Russia, France and Germany to name some, none compares to the popularity of the 2008 U.S White House race.
Reason 2: Intense Democratic nomination campaign
The contentious nature of the Democratic nomination campaign between Obama and Clinton being one of the tightest ever in the history of the party, is another strong reason for the international interest in the 2008 U.S presidential elections. The simple reason for this might perhaps be because Obama was poised to become the first U.S African-American president while Clinton, being the wife of a former president was the first woman to reach that far.
In these two, the world witnessed an extraordinary standard of intellectual ability in the form of eloquence, intelligence and confidence on a solid platform of patriotism and professionalism at its peak. Given its intensity, at some point many thought that the Obama/Clinton nomination campaign was the actual presidential race.
For these reasons, the world certainly new that the presentation of these two able candidates was an obvious indication of an indelible history in the making as both were unique personalities readily opting to take the bull by the horns in assuming the various challenges in the country's highest office.
Reason 3: Economic focus of presidential campaign
Moreover, the Obama/McCain debate on the economy was also a major reason for the popularity of the 2008 elections. At a time of serious global financial crisis, the world in entirety and America in particular were so much eager and interested in any new policies and programs that could ameliorate the degrading economic situation in order to restore sanity if not raise living standards. Very well realizing this universal public concern, the economic debate became paramount during the campaign period occupying a huge portion of the entire race, thanks to Obama for forcing it through. In fact at a time of uncompromising U.S financial crisis, the issue of the economy is believed to be the leading cause of the Obama victory.
Reason 4: Personal background of Barack Obama
The Dual Triple Heritage Concept: Above all, the key motive of the widespread popularity of the 2008 White House race is in my belief Obama's triple heritage background.
According to Ali A. Mazrui's (1986) Africa's triple heritage concept, this paper argues that Barrack Obama from Illinois has a dual triple heritage: (1) race or ethnicity (Ethnic origin) and (2) religion. The paper argues that the new positive friendship or partnership between the people of Africa and the people of the United States in the first decade of the 21st century is a contributing factor to the Barrack Obama phenomenon.
Furthermore, the paper claims that Barrack Obama has the potential to help in uniting: (1) the United States; (2) Africa and the United States; (3) a Federal African Union; and (4) East-West regions of the three Old World continents. This paper examined these two parts of Barrack Obama's Triple Heritage and how they are connected to both the Old World (Africa, Asia and Europe) and the New World, especially the United States.
The paper further attempted to argue that Barrack Obama has the potential to contribute to world unity in four major ways (1) unity in the United States; (2) unity between Africa and the United States; (3) unity of a federal African Union; and (4) East-West unity.
Part of Barrack Obama's appeal with the masses is that in one form or another people seem to see themselves in him, whether racially/ethnically or religiously. In him, one can witness both America's and the world's racial/ethnic and religious diversity.
Generally, his multifaceted personal background of American, African, European and Asian connections that cross-cut beyond racial, geographical, religious and ethnic boundaries is certainly a major reason for the unified global interest in the 2008 White House race.
Below is a critical analysis and further elaboration of the triple heritage concept that combines 1: race/ethnicity, 2: nationality and 3: religion. African Connection: Born in Kogelo village from the Jalou tribe in Kenya and son of Hussein Onyango Obama, Obama Sr traveled from his homeland to the U.S. to further his education where he met Barrack Jr.'s white American mother (named Stanley Ann Dunham by her father) in college in Hawaii.
Thus, the fact that Obama's grandmother and half brother still live in that remote village in Kenya and that he sometimes visits them there, are clear testimonies to his African linkage. Therefore, as Obama's matrilineal linkage reaffirms his American citizenship, so has his patrilineal connection guaranteed his Africaness through Kenya. This is what qualifies the simple slogan, OBAMA FOR AFRICA.
American Connection: Towards the end of his speech after winning the South Carolina Democratic Presidential primary on Saturday, January 26, 2007, Senator Obama said that: "Out of Many are One." Yet looking at him at that moment, one could also say that "Out of One are Many." That is because, as science can prove that all people in the U.S. and the New World can trace their ancestry to one of the three Old World Continents (Africa, Asia and Europe), by ethnic origin, Barrack Obama is American, African (Kenyan), European and Asian.
Born, bred and educated in the U.S with a matrilineal American background rooted in Kansas undoubtedly makes Obama a true American citizen which qualifies him to occupy several key administrative ranks including a senatorial position prior to his recent presidential election.
Therefore, in as much as he vows to represent the entire peoples of the world, Obama as a true American patriot specifically stand to first of all defend and protect the interest of America and her children. Being an American elected as an American president by American electorates, Obama's paramount duty is to serve America and the American people before anything else.
First, the primary reason for Barrack Obama's diverse support within the Democratic Party and in the United States is because of his potential to unite the country. Most Americans are truly looking for a figure that can unite them, especially at a time when they are fighting several foreign wars and their hard earned reputation has been destroyed badly overseas. In fact, that is a big part of Obama's campaign speech-that he has the ability to unite the country.
European Connection: According to Barrack Obama (2004): ".to take my parents brief union - a black man and a white woman, an African and an American." (p.xv). Mary Jordan reported in the Washington Post on May 13, 2007 that DNA from Barrack Obama's white side of his family was traced in Northwest Europe to a small town in Ireland called Moneygall.
Stephen Neill, a local Anglican rector, said church documents he has found, along with census, immigration and other records tracked down by U.S. genealogists, appear to show that Obama's great-great-great-grandfather, Fulmuth Kearney, was reared in Moneygall, and then left for America in 1850, when he was 19. Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian for Ancestry.com, an online repository of family history records, said that although no single "smoking gun" document was found, there are about 20 different records that when pieced together make her "absolutely certain" of Obama's Moneygall roots (p.A14). This could most likely serve as an assurance for European collaboration.
Author: by Ebrima Jabbie