Later today, enthused Democrats and Republicans cast their votes to elect the most powerful man in the Western world; with repercussions not just for the USA, but for Britain too.
For America’s sake, I hope Barack Obama will win and become a triumphant Commander in Chief. ‘The Age of Audacity’, his personal testimony, is the stuff that political dreams are made of: A young, fresh faced politician offering vibrant, bi-partisan change in the face of a mighty yet brutally flawed country – a country torn apart by unchecked capitalist greed, wild religious fanaticism, and racial and social segregation. Obama’s narrative is mirrored in his pragmatic, positive campaign, emphasising the need for unity over division in overcoming the bigoted past. He offers to cut taxes to those struggling the most rather than to the Wall Street fat cats in the hope, as economic theory dictates, the wealth should trickle down. And, finally, what most Americans of all political persuasions desire; a form of state-subsidised universal healthcare reform.
As such, Obama is the personification of progressive change – a black man whose very presence in the White House would, in due time, dispel the sullen cynicism of ethnic minorities as well as rejuvenating progressive politics respectively here in the UK.
Speaking as a person of Afro-Caribbean descent; the televised moans and groans of the so-called disillusioned black underclass in Britain are painfully repetitive. Perhaps this is the time to end the mantra of ‘a lack of visible role models’. A black man as the most powerful in the world would surely shock many out of their wallowing self-pity and apathy.
Furthermore, the creaky politics of the UK can take a leaf directly out of Obama’s book. The Labour Party is on tight lines, in spite of recovered poll positions in the face of international financial turmoil. Large portions of the population are fed up with the sound bite style of debate; to the extent of anti-political sentiments and revivals of extremist minority movements, from Islamism to the BNP. After Obama’s brilliant absorption of many political colours of the USA, we in the UK need to find our own progressive consensus.
Obama can be an example to us all.