It has been said that every presidential election is historical, and for all intents and purposes that is correct. But that particular statement could not have been more apt than now, with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. The past presidential election is crucial to our country, primarily because these are extraordinary times. Along with economic recession –which has seen more and more loss of homes and jobs – there are likewise problems left by the preceding government that cannot be ignored. These factors are the root of Barack Obama’s win, and have made him the best candidate for the post.
Polls conducted prior to the November 4 elections have seen Americans in the working class leaning towards Obama’s camp, and for good reason. Coupled with a clear, plausible, and practical plan which addresses the recession is the fact that Obama is someone that the average American can relate to. We’ve all heard of his life story, his background; we are aware of the obstacles he has and could have faced. There is a feeling of kinship that arises when we hear him talk of his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, of being raised single-handedly by his mother.
As such, the average American will likely see him as not only a Harvard-educated politician, but someone who understands the plight of the less fortunate. He is seen as someone who can respond to the country’s problems skillfully and more importantly, aptly. Obama will be taking the helm of a problem-riddled government, and this is not just pertaining to the economy. The Bush administration will be leaving him with the huge responsibility of restoring not only the image of this country but more importantly, restoring peace and strengthening foreign relations with the war waged by Bush in the background.
These are not easy tasks, surely; but the future seems bright for the newly-elected President. Already, foreign countries have expressed satisfaction over his election, with some even going as far as saying that his victory has been foreseen long before the beginning of the elections. Such a positive feedback is refreshing, and we can expect that with Obama at the forefront, our ties with other countries will be stronger and for some, renewed.
With regard to the war, it is a good thing that at last, our brothers who are laying their lives on the line will be coming home. The war the previous administration has waged has yield nothing but negative results, and it is about time that the troops be pulled out before more blood is shed for a futile undertaking. Scores ago an African-American president would have been unthinkable; and until now, there are still traces of discrimination in this country that boasts of freedom as its most valued treasure.
Obama’s historical ascent to the White House is a landmark of change and hope: change, in that he has broken the African-American stereotypical images that are still very much prevalent in society; hope, in that with his election, the remaining buds of racial discrimination will be nipped. On a grander scale, Obama’s presidency does not only signal the beginning of change (or “change we can believe in”) – it IS a symbol of change. This symbolism could not have come at a better time, not only for the American people but perhaps, for the world.
On a smaller scale, Obama’s election is monumental for members of the minority – who came to this country with dreams of leading better lives – and for African-Americans, both of which are still fighting for equality in this country. It may be argued that the United States has come a long way from its history of slavery, and that racial discrimination is not as prevalent now as it was before. But it can likewise be argued that inequality is still there. With Obama’s election, the invisible barrier that has prevented these people from dreaming big and living their dreams has been shattered.
How? With the mere act of electing him into office, the African-American stereotype was lifted: African-Americans can now dream of leading the most powerful country in the world – a vision that has remained unimaginable until now. And for other members of the minority – immigrants from Asia, and other countries – the election of Obama is more than welcome, what with his plans of rewriting immigration laws to see past race and country, and to look more into the abilities of those who seek refuge and chase dreams in the United States of America.
As for the rest of the world, Obama’s presidency is also a hallmark of change. As said, his election to office has been welcomed by other countries, and has been met with celebration in all corners of the globe, not only for the American people but for countries that look to the President of the United States for leadership. There has not been much to look up to in the previous administration – a fruitless war was waged, and bigger problems like the recession and climate change remained unanswered, or if answered, well, they were addressed unsatisfactorily.
With Obama, it might be a different story. It has been reported that even hard-to-please academic analysts have hailed his election, and have provided positive feedbacks with regard to his ability to lead the nation and the rest of the world. He is not a superhero, of course, but if he follows through with his campaign promises, at least one or two of the bigger problems we – and the rest of the world – are experiencing can be solved. And that is good enough. In his speech in Chicago, Obama told more than 200,000 people gathered in Grant Park in celebration:
“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. ” Indeed, with Obama’s election to the office of the president of the United States, history was made. More importantly, when he formally takes office on the 20th of January, he will make history. He has, after all, been dubbed as the “extraordinary man for extraordinary times”.