Obama: Why we got up at 4am

2012-11-10 10:16

It has been an amazing thing to watch. Around the world, people have been transfixed on the US election – or more precisely, on the inspirational Barack Obama’s successful campaign for a second term as America’s first black president.

The Harvard law graduate is like a Nelson Mandela for the 21st century – a global icon of good leadership in a world just dying for beacons of probity and aspiration. Like Mandela, Obama’s first term was not perfect.

He set important benchmarks for social solidarity, but too often American foreign policy was a drone of sameness.

Still, there was a common sense around the world that he deserved a second term, and apparently his nation felt the same. The results on Wednesday morning were watched and celebrated around the world.

In Kenya, where Obama’s gran still lives, the nation was at a standstill. Everywhere else and even here on the southern tip, we were transfixed and inspired.

“I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, keep working, to keep fighting,” said Obama as he pledged his allegiance to all of America, not only those who had elected him.

Why so much excitement about this election, even at a time when America’s pre-eminence is dimming as the world enters a new era of global relations? There is the Obama factor and the great love story that is him, Michelle, Malia and Sasha.

But there is also the fact that America’s was a real election where you get a sense of a true democracy in action.

The campaign was occasionally snarling and bitter, as commentators have noted, but the bipartisan system and the transparency of both the party primaries and the campaign proper are still great examples of democracy in action.

Across the seas in China, an equally important transfer of power was being held as the ruling Communist Party transfers power to the next generation by red diktat.

It’s important, but it is not inspiring, and neither is it inclusive. Even the doves have been barred from the central committee shindig.

Our wish for our nation is for changes to the way we elect our leadership and for a balanced political landscape in the decades to come.

We are a fine democracy and some changes will make us age better, like a good wine.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.