Monday, November 10, 2008

President-elect Obama's World

Last Tuesday Barack Obama managed to win the popular vote and secure well over the required 270 electoral votes to become president-elect. Obama managed to secure victory by locking the Black vote along with the progressive and youth votes. Surprisingly, despite all that was said about record turnouts, turnout was only slightly larger than 2004.

Despite a few editorials out of Ukraine, Iraq, and Georgia, the world has been enthusiastic about Obama's victory. Everyone from the French, Germans, Japanese, and all the way to Tonga have been celebrating. However, Obama must now live to very high hopes. Uganda thinks it is Obama's priority while the militant Islamic Army of Iraq (not al Qaeda-related) expects Obama to live up to the hype and Zimbabwe is hoping Obama will not pressure an African nation to reform. America is riding high on the Obama wave but chances are high for disappointment. This should be one of President Obama's main fears.

With Russia moving missiles, Iran and Israel daring each other, and low level monsters all throughout the world: this is not a time for screw ups. Let us hope President Obama is up for it and makes the right calls.


Roger W. Hart said...

I find Senator Obama's popularity in Europe particularly interesting. I read an article recently that stated their xenophobia and racism would prohibit Mr. Obama from ever being elected to a nationwide post in Europe.

So here's a question for you. Is Barack Obama the first member of an ethnic minority to be democratically elected to lead a country?

I googled that question and the only other person suggested was Stalin, who was Georgian.

Catholicgauze said...

Hmm... interesting. Europe is notorously racist (in some parts, not all) but I feel Obama is something more of an image to them than a minority.

In the U.S. yes. Charles Curtis, VP for Hoover, was half-Kaw Indian. It can be streched that the U.S. has had many minority presidents if you go on ethnic (Irish, German, English) lines rather than race (White, Black). But White America is so intermixed so that would be a real strech.

As for international there has been a few in South America. Benito Juarez was full blooded Indian in majority Mestezo-Mexico and the same goes for the current President of Boliva. However, those involve cousin-races. Something to research further!

kilgoretrout said...

Hmm, there are definately recists in Europe, but calling Europe 'in some parts' notorously racist is quite something.

Maybe that's what the media tells you, in here the media always tells about the racism in the USA:

Catholicgauze said...

Unfortuanetly there is racism everywhere.
But Europe's open Nazi-like displays in soccer (football) games and the suburbs of Paris' geography of isolation are noticable blights.

Anonymous said...

Corazon Aquino of Philippines was of Chinese extraction. Peru elected Fujimori who was of Japanese extraction. France has had several Jewish Prime Ministers (Leon Blum, Pierre Mendès-France, Laurent Fabius). New Zealand has also elected three Jewish PMs. The UK had Disraeli who was full blooded Jewish, and in the late 18th and early 19th century had three prime ministers that were of Anglo-Indian extraction although the advent of the Victorian era put an end to all that. Fuji had an Indian PM. Pakistan had Sindhi Benzir Bhutto, and now her Balochi husband. In Pakistan either our President and Prime Minister are usually Sindhi, or Mohajjir, or Pathan, or Balochi, or yet another minority of some kind. Turkey has elected, I believe three Presidents of Kurdish extraction, Hindu India until last year had a Sikh Prime Minister, Muslim President and a Roman Catholic was the head of the Congress Party.
As for racism in Europe as opposed to the Unites States, it depends on which minority you are talking about and in which country. Yes parts of Russia, and large chunks of European soccer culture are very racist but I've been to Indiana and travelled the South and I've seen some pretty interesting things there as well. Canada of course has had a large number of French Canadian Prime Ministers. The Canadian head of state (appointed on advice of the PM) is currently a lady of Haitian decent and she succeeded a lady of Chinese decent.
India had K. R. Narayana, an untouchable as its President in the 90s. And in modern Iran not a single President has hailed from Fars province. Also I think Chavez is Afro-Venzuelan.
Menem of Argentina was of Syrian extraction, Abdalá Bucaram (Lebanese origin), former President of Ecuador; Antonio Saca (Palestinian origin), current President of El Salvador;
Salvador Jorge Blanco (Syrian origin), former President of Dominican Republic; Jamil Mahuad (Lebanese origin), former President of Ecuador; Said Musa (Palestinian origin), current Prime Minister of Belize; Edward Seaga (Lebanese origin), former Prime Minister of Jamaica; Julio Cesar Turbay (Lebanese origin), former President of Colombia.