By LSG Worden
Many have been saying that Obama’s impending presidency ushers in a new age of American politics which transcends race, elevating it out of the old chess like black vs white game. And not only racially speaking; Obama’s ‘message’ cuts through all sorts of divisions and may, who knows, represent a neo-socialist nationalism, like the kind that threatened to do some good in the world when young America recoiled from the pains of the Vietnam War.
Let us be realists though and think for the moment that the true essential Obama lies very much closer to the central ground than this maelstrom of a campaign has led us to believe. Even from a factual perspective there are some elements of his election that may be scrutinized more carefully, such as the claims that America has elected its first black president. Obama may transcend race philosophically – maybe – but in a very physical sense he definitely does, for it is an odd thing to hear Barrack Obama called black. If we do, it reinforces white supremacy, since it would be to take white as the standard. So if a person has a black and a white parent they are labelled black, as if colour is a corruption of whiteness. He is perhaps the first ‘non-white’ president.
Oddly, by pointing this out, by saying he is not black, it distracts from the political transcendence that we should be applauding. It is the purpose of this article to highlight the factual inaccuracy of the statement “Barrack Obama is black”. But it is the duty of the author based on his convictions to make the case, with a word of caution, for believing in a new approach to world affairs from the mighty US administration.
The power of transcendence which we might say has proved to be Obama’s greatest weapon may or may not continue into his first term in the most powerful office on the earth. Even if he succeeds in uniting the American people it could be an era of US protectionism that looms. Nobody knows how things will go, but the expectations of Americans and the world are focused on this one man. Could it be that World Public Opinion has shaped this campaign, what Noam Chomsky has called the second world super-power after the United States.
Obama remarked in his victory speech that he would extend recognition to those “huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world”. Well we shall see what happens. Can he fix it? “Yes we can” he says. Obama talks philosophy, and at its core this is what politics is about, however unpopular a sentiment that is.
It could be that after this ‘post-racial ’ election, the power mongers in world politics will transcend rather than ascend as we slowly evolve to become a planet and not just a world.