March 19, 2008

Obama and history.

At this point in the US presidential race, it doesn’t really matter who wins. What matters is that Barack Obama has managed to reinvigorate Americans to look at politics as a system for change instead of simply an exercise in power.

I have praised Obama on his oratory skills before—going so far as saying that he was the best orator American politics has ever seen—but his speech yesterday brought political discourse to a whole new level. Instead of simply denouncing Reverend Wright’s previous comments and simplifying the race issue, he used the opportunity to address the complexity of (and lend relevance and validity to) America’s inherent frustrations with the way things have been happening in their country.

For those of you that haven’t seen the video, I strongly recommend you check it out in its entirety to understand the true historical impact that his speech will have on American society.

History textbook writers across the nation woke up this morning with an important task ahead of them: to incorporate this speech into the historical canon of American politics. If there’s anything high school students in the USA need to learn, it’s how to take adversity and turn into inspiration — how to use other people’s anger and frustration as a springboard for enlightened discussion and motivation for change.

I’m not here to tell you to vote for one candidate or another. I’m here to share with you the vision of a man who truly believes in the potential of the people in his country.

In a post earlier this year, I explained why I felt Obama was what America needed more than anyone else:

Obama was not only insightful and intelligent, but he also had a passion. Not a passion to win an election or to gain power and respect — instead, he had a passion to discuss what was on my mind, to learn more from who I am, where I came from, and what I knew. It is this passion to learn, to grow, and to inspire that makes me hope that Barack Obama is the next President of the United States of America. After all, if America needs anything right now, it’s the passion to learn from the people within and outside its borders. I have not wavered from that sentiment. Obama is a man that embraces potential and rigorous discourse instead of petty politicking. That’s my kind of world leader.

Remember how, four years ago, some Americans threatened to move to Canada if George W. Bush won the election? Well, if Barack Obama wins the election, I’m promising to move to the United States of America.