At a time that world problems need an international leader, the single superpower in the world has been running away from a global leadership position. The hawkish and divisiveness of President Bush on political and environmental issues have alienated America in the eyes of the peoples of the world. But the upcoming U.S. elections provide an opportunity for a change. Can the next U.S. president also be a global president?
Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, people have been considering the fact that American citizens are really voting for a president whose powers and influences affect the entire globe. The failure of the Bush administration to honor the Kyoto treaty, its rejection of global warming, and its failure to convince the world to join it in an unnecessary war against Iraq have alienated the peoples of the world.
But the upcoming elections might be different. If the Democratic Party’s front-runner Barack Obama succeeds in becoming the next president, a unique international situation might in fact take place. No presidential nominee has as much international affiliation with and support for than the man who looks different and talks differently than any other presidential nominee in the history of the United States.
The last time an American won world inspiration was from the sporting arena. When Muhammad Ali won the world boxing championship against Joe Frazier in Zaire Africa and against Foreman in Manila, he excited youths around the world. The peoples of the world felt like Ali was their champion, not just America’s. His famous line, “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” is probably better known by the world’s citizens than the most eloquent of political quotes.
The idea that Americans continue to choose a global president has really bothered the world – until now, perhaps. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to a white Christian mother from Kansas and an African Muslim father from Kenya, grew up in Indonesia, and can do more to inspire the world than any other candidate.
George Bush has drawn the anger and hatred of many in the world. Will a U.S. president with dark skin, who has not been tainted by the Iraq debacle, be seen differently by the world’s seven billion citizens?
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