Interesting stuff from American Politics….
Former speaker of the US House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, echoed an article in Forbes magazine by the nutjob D’Souza which claimed that Obama’s philosophy and worldview is viewed by an anti-colonial mentality inherited from his father – along with his father’s other non-stellar traits.
Which sort of makes you wonder about Newt’s opinion on colonialism. People like Newt should be made to understand that the anti-colonial movement was not inherently anti-European. It was anti-repression and against blatant abuse of basic human rights. It just so happened that the abusers were people from Europe. It would have been just as justified if it were Swiss people rebelling against colonizers from Vanuatu.
Today the world got yet another glimpse of the greatness of the greatest nation on earth. The United States of America, a nation founded in part by slave owners, witnessed the swearing in as president the son of a Kenyan and a Kansan woman. Just like in the 18th century, when (together with France) America laid the foundations for the belief in the rights and equality of all peoples, today America reminded the world that it ought to be the case that any human being, regardless of race, creed or gender can be anything that they choose to be.
This is no place for jingoism. I am aware of America’s flaws. It is a country of contrasts in many respects. There still are millions who are yet to live the American dream. Ethnic suspicions and racial bigotry still persist. And its international agenda still has hints of arrogance and a false sense of entitlement. But at the same time America continues to be the shining example of what can become of a union of free men based on the ideals of inalienability of the rights of man. No other nation tries so hard to stick to these ideals. No other nation has shown this much vitality and ability to renew itself and maintain its greatness at the same time.
So as Barack Obama begins his journey in the White House it is my hope that the world will take a moment and think about what it is that makes America great. If they are honest with themselves they will come up with answers that condemn tyranny, arbitrary government, and many other ills that perpetuate poverty and general socio-cultural stuntedness in most of the poor regions of the world.
There is excitement in the air. All around the world and here in the US in particular everyone seems thrilled by the idea that tomorrow Barrack Obama, the son of a Kenyan man and a Kansan woman, will be sworn in to become the 44th president of the United States. I am excited too, partly because of my own political persuasion and partly because being a Kenyan this is a special moment when the son of a Kenyan becomes the most powerful man in the world. I am not big on identity politics but I simply could not let this one go.
Back to the topic of this post. As we await the arrival of the Obamas in the White House I cannot help but wonder how an Obama presidency will affect leadership on the continent of his father – Africa. Already in Europe and Israel we have seen candidates mimic Obama as they attempt to woo voters. I hope that the same enthusiasm for this man’s brand of politics and political organization spreads to Africa. I hope that an Obama presidency will plant the seeds for African leadership based on lasting ideals and ideologies and not myopic ethno-economic calculations.
So let us all make merry and be happy as the world begins a new chapter with a renewed America. And let us strive to imitate what is best about America – it’s resiliency and unique ability of self-regeneration and most of all its peoples belief in themselves, even when the odds seem longer than they can overcome.
You’ve got to give to the Kenyan government for acting clownish. The declaration of Thursday as a national holiday to celebrate Obama’s election victory was as silly as it was irresponsible. I am the first person to admit that Obama’s election was a huge milestone, not just for racially divided America but also for humanity. And Kenya deservedly ought to be proud that the son of a Kenyan will soon be the most powerful man in the world.
This Thursday holiday is too much though. America did not even have the day off from work on election day. To imagine that the government would suspend schools and all work just for celebration makes me sick. No wonder we are still a low income country. Why promote this culture of work evasion? Where is the work ethic Mr. President?
I think this was a clown move on the part of the government and in the future we should perhaps reduce the number of holidays we get off the calendar. Work, work, work. That is the only way we are going to get out of poverty as a nation, and not by taking holidays at every opportunity.
So there is this story on the BBC website about the Nigerians raising about US $630,000 that they intended to contribute to the Obama campaign. This is as ridiculous as it is stupid. First of all, if these people care enough about Obama they would have visited his website already and noticed that when you try to contribute money you get asked specifically whether you are a US citizen – US politicians are prohibited by law from receiving contributions from foreigners.
Second, these people have got their priorities all wrong. Why raise so much money to send to the US? Aren’t there enough suffering Nigerians and Africans that this money might have helped? Come on Nigerians. Come on!