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.