Friday, November 07, 2008
We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us, said Pogo, a cartoon character 30 years back.This week the American electorate might well have said: We have seen change and the change is us.
Enough has been written about the significance of Obama's victory; suffice to say a decade back, no one would have predicted a non white President for the USA in their lifetime. A view that I have increasingly come across is that Obama got elected because of the colour of his skin and not because of his policies. That he is unproven. That he has vacillated during his tenure as a Senator. Those views might have some credence, but I think they obfuscate the point of Obama's victory
USA came into existence because of an idea. An idea that a person's destiny would not be determined by his or her birth. USA came into existence because immigrants took risks in moving to a country which they knew little of.
By electing an unknown entity as the President, USA proved that its fundamental values were very much alive. That in its deepest ever economic crisis, it could still ideate. It could still take risks. And for me, that was the point of the 2008 elections.
There isnt a single country in the world today which would have taken that kind of risk and therein lies the success and charm of the USA