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The Past and the President

Dawn’s early light illuminated my living room while I lay asleep. A new light for a new day; little did I realise in my semi-conscious state that this was the dawn of a new age. 

Abraham Lincoln had ratified, in 1865, a bill that would become known as the emancipation of the slaves in America. While ratified by congress it would be another 100 years or so until the rights of African Americans were gaining acceptance amidst a horribly racist and bigoted nation. The civil rights marches of the late 50’s and 60’s, followed by the Black Power Movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s, opened the eyes of the world to the injustice and suffering of many races at the hands of White oppression. A sequence of events that should never have had to be fought for, was put in place and these events would eventually culminate in a great victory that would send shockwaves around the world. Shockwaves of joy, jubilance, and belief that finally we are on the road to becoming a less oppressive and racist planet.

Those shockwaves crashed on my doorstep this morning before I set off for work and while I was listening to the radio; the morning news. Senator Barack Obama had been officially elected as president of the United States of America – history had been made. The first black president of the United States of America. Even writing the preceding text I feel uncomfortable. Not that America has a black president but because I have always failed to see the difference and why distinction should be made between two races of people. In terms of the suffering and hardship that way too many people have endured, this election victory symbolises a huge shift in the temporal race plane for acceptance, understanding, and equality. Nobody would want to take this from those who fought hard so that one day equality would be shown and people across the land would recognise that there was no reason or just mindset that should stop anybody from achieving what they are capable of.

I openly hoped that Obama would win the election. I admired his poise, his capability, and I believe that his financial outlook will be both good for the U.S. and eventually for the global financial crisis. In fact I believe that our politicians in Ireland should probably take a leaf out of his book in terms of looking at investing and sustaining indigenous business in our country and not being reliant on FDI to bolster our economy. I’m not knowingly a Democrat, in the context of U.S. politics; within the Republican camp, I disliked Bush (both of) but I admired and respected Reagan for the achievements made while he was in office. For me the U.S. Presidentials were about the one who appeared to be the most competent and the one who saw America’s internal problems and wasn’t afraid to address them. America has a huge impact on the rest of the globe and needs to be careful that its foreign policies do not exclude the global economy nor the effect that the combined consuming power of the U.S. can have on that.

Barack Obama appears to have the mindset that will bring great stability to the U.S. and ultimately that makes life better for everyone on the planet. His historic win in terms of race and civil rights history should not overshadow the fact that this man has achieved a great victory; through words of wisdom, articulate speeches delivered, intelligent policies, competent debating, and overall charisma. Obama has won over a very partisan audience with his politics to become America’s next president and when one man can overcome all odds to gain such a victory, we must surely say that we have reached a turning point in the history of this world. Good luck President Obama – we wish you well.

Extra! Extra!

Damien Mulley sums it up nicely

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