With a Kenyan father and a Kansas mother, having grown up in Indonesia and Hawaii, Obama is a true child of Globalisation and, perhaps resultantly, he looks likely to become the first truly global leader.
His highly anticipated inaugural address failed to strike a cord with some analysts yesterday, who described it as ‘business like’ and seemed to think that inventing a memorable catchphrase was the only objective of such an occasion; these people, rather than listening to the message of his address, preferred to wait with baited breath for the ‘I have a dream moment’ and as such, missed the point entirely. With a day to rethink and rewatch I would imagine that almost any critic could recognise the achievement of Obama’s address and if they can’t, then they are buffoons, unfit to hold a pen or punch keys on a keyboard – the type of people who write gushing articles over the brilliance of an emotive speech only to criticize a month later when the speaker fails to deliver a talking unicorn to every newborn child. They are fools.
Of course, Obama could have come out and delivered a soaring rhetoric of promises and ideals littered with memorable phrases – he has the charisma and panache to carry it off with ease – but then that just makes him a crowd pleaser and a show off . . . a liar – and I would have thought the US has had enough of that. Instead, Obama summed up concisely and precisely his position and the US’s position within the world. He covered it all, but pulled no punches. He began with a polite and heartfelt nod to President Bush, before carefully damning the practices of his administration; he firmly laid out the difficulties facing him and the US as a whole, before offering solace in the ability to pull together and mend the problems through sacrifice and hard work; he addressed the many, offering support to the Muslim world, opening the door to former enemies that wish to cooperate, whilst bolstering his good nature with stern words against the few who stand against him. As he drew his speech to a close, he re-stated the need for change in a changing world, but crucially, he guaranteed that the qualities required to make this change were old ideals – honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – imbedded within every person, of every State, of the United States.
The message of the speech was the preparedness of his administration to begin again – to start over, if you’re American – and instigate a new era of American politics where the USA accept that however powerful, power is nothing without respect and Barack Obama is prepared to gain that respect and, as such, haul the USA out from it’s insular introspective past and into the forefront of the global community. This is great news for everyone – even Bin Laden et al, if they weren’t too proud to realise it – because with the power of the USA wielded for the common good, the United States of America have the ability to unite the world.