QUOTE(BecomingHuman @ Nov 9 2008, 02:32 PM)
Despite knowing Obama's strong worldwide support, I must say I was taken aback a bit by the worldwide response to his victory.
What do I mean? Well, Kenya, on the Wednesday after the election, created a national holiday in honor of Obama,
despite him not having taken office yet. Antiguans changed the name of their highest mountain, Boggy peak, to Mount Obama, and anti-American president Hugo Chavez wants to sit down and talk with the "Black man"
does a nice round-up:
They did it. They really did it. So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world. Savour those words: President Barack Obama, America's hope and, in no small way, ours too.
The new President has transcended tensions to achieve the essential: balancing black resentment and white anxieties, and uniting them in a single design for justice. After having elected George W. Bush two times, in an incredible turn of boldness and faith in its own resources, America has put an end to its conservative revolution made from deregulation and the wild law of the market which resulted in the sub-prime crisis and the collapse of the financial system.
While this is without a doubt a moment of great happiness, at the same time we should remember those men and women that made the greatest sacrifice, their lives, in the fight for an equal society,'' Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said in a letter to Obama. ``I'm sure many veterans of those days have been reflecting on the words of Reverend King: `I have a dream that my four small children will someday live in a country where they aren't judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their characters.' This day has arrived
I thank God for having lived to see that we have a U.S. president of color,'' said Yehude Simon, Peru's prime minister. ``Peru wins with the change; it's a change that we all expected. God help us he won't fail us, that all his proposals during the campaign can be real.''
There are literally dozens more referenced in the article. It ends on an ominous note from German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger:
That's the good news. The bad news is that this outburst of Obama-mania does create expectations which no president can possibly fulfill. Sooner or later there will be some disappointment on the way.'' Questions for Debate
:1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?
Too high, and I suspect, wrong: Having recently had a discussion with a black lady from Europe via Africa, now living in the USA, I can say she seems to think the rest of the world doesn't understand that our Const is supposed to mandate a limited
govt (and frankly, most people under 50 don't either, but....) ; our Const is not supposed to mandate a global welfare state funded by the USA; and that the American people
don't really seek out global domination, and that we are still, at heart, fairly isolationist, even if our leaders are always butting into others' business.
--One article says, "There are rumours that if Barack Obama doesn’t win the presidential election, there will be riots in Kenya again. But, judging by opinion polls, Kenya can look forward to an era of prosperity
with one of their sons in charge of the United States. " [italics mine] Kenyans looking for a handout. http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?m...D=2008110220849
. Well, all of those who voted against Obama feared this, we all know about Obama's pledge to give a significant portion of US GDP annually to the UN to assist Africa, but is this what Americans' really want?
--"If Africa wants to enhance their chances during Obama presidency, they should not just wait for Obama hand-outs, but employ the manners of effective cultivation of relationships to access the resources of US. Available statistics show that African governments are the least effective in lobbying US government and when they do, they often use the wrong approach. " More handouts wanted....http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=3745&magazine=201
--In a BBC poll that encompassed the views of global citizens from 22 countries, all 22 countries suggested in overwhelming numbers that Barack Obama would be their preferred victor, with 17 of the 22 countries showing the belief that an Obama presidency would help improve relations between the United States and the rest of the world. An average of 49% of those polled in all 22 countries supported Sen. Obama as the victor, contrasted with 12% supporting McCain as the eventual victor, a gap that speaks for itself.
What does this mean? It means these nations want the USA to fall into line and do what the "world community" expects it to do. Ouch. So much for a magnificient detachment.
---"Americans were split (45% favor, 50% oppose) on the idea of allowing the United Nations "to fund its activities by imposing a small tax on such things as the international sale of arms or oil." (The U.N. currently depends entirely on contributions from member governments.) " Wow. So those years of UN management of US school curricula has turned us into victims of "change". I could not imagine any thinking citizen of the US wanting a UN tax and a UN "world" government, submitting ourselves to the rule of the other 97% of the globe's population (kinda sucks to be a 3% minority when voting time comes). But, we have let the UN flood our schools...http://usforeignpolicy.about.com/od/united...ns/a/unpoll.htm http://www.newswithviews.com/Pratt/larry9.htm
I doubt Obama in four years can destroy what's left of our nationalism, and I doubt he'll let Kenya have everything they want. So, world expectations are too high. But, to expect these things at all is just plain wrong, at least if you are an American. Where is our national self-interest???2)
I think I answered this query in #1.3)
There is always some euphoria after an election--all is fresh and new and expectations run wild, untempered by the cold, harsh light of day. The euphoria will fade; it always does. There is no way any president can be everything to everyone.