November 
2008

Vol 8-No. 5


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BARACK OBAMA ELECTED



Ultimate Realisation of the American Dream
Barack Obama's elect
ion

The Economist:

"Every American child learns at a parentís knee the most fundamental of truths about their country. Anyone can grow up to be president of the United States. It is the essence of the nationís republican ideal, the meritocratic belief at the core of its organising principle. It is also, at least empirically speaking, complete balderdash.

"In 220 years a country that has steadily multiplied in diversity, where ethnic minorities and women have risen to the very highest positions in so many fields of human life, has chosen a succession of 42 white men as its leader. For good measure, the vice-presidency, the only other nationally directly elected position in the US government, has been held by a succession of 46 white males."

But on November 4 night, in a tumultuous break with this long history, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the U.S.A. symbolising the ultimate realisation of the American dream "and breaking the ultimate racial barrier to become the first African American to claim the country's highest office.

"Barack Obama, the son of a father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, becomes one of the youngest presidents in American history, the first born outside the continental United States (in Hawaii) and only the third to move directly from the Senate to the White House. 

"A nation founded by slave owners and seared by civil war and generations of racial strife delivered a smashing electoral college victory to the 47-year-old first-term senator from Illinois, who forged a broad, multiracial, multiethnic coalition. His victory was a leap in the march toward equality: When Obama was born, people with his skin color could not even vote in parts of America, and many were killed for trying", wrote Mark Z. Barabak in Los Angeles Times.

"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," Obama told more than 240,000 celebrants gathered along Chicago's waterfront. Many had tears streaking their faces.

"It's been a long time coming," said Obama, who strode on stage with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia. "But tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."


LiveNews Australia reports

US president-elect Barack Obama has realised Martin Luther King's dream of 45 years ago, Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on November 5.

"Forty-five years ago Martin Luther King had a dream of an America where men and women would be judged not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character.

"Today, what America has done is turn that dream into a reality," Mr Rudd told reports in Launceston.

Mr Rudd said the US election result was a great testament to the strength and maturity of the American democratic process.

Senator Obama carries a message of hope not only for America but for the rest of the world, he said.

"A world which is in many respects fearful for its future," Mr Rudd said.

The world looks to America for global leadership on the great global challenges of the 21st century."

Cabral Pinto writes in The Nation (Nairobi):

A non-white has become the American president for the first time. You may call Barack Obama black, African-American, Kenyan-American or simply American. In electing him, Americans have given content to their vision of US citizenry.

The US had given the impression that the top political leadership is the preserve of its white male citizens. This has been proved untrue, and it is only a matter of time before America elects a woman president.                   

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