President Barack Obama all the way!

I was biting back the tears during Barack Obama’s victory speech as president-elect of the U.S. There was so much at stake in this election. Without trying to overstate and get carried away, we can still safely say that its probably been the most significant election, ever, in the history of the world. This is a big event that will stand out in history.

It’s a campaign of so many firsts, and that is why so many people across the world are so excited — as there is a feeling that there is genuine change in Obama, and that therefore there will be genuine change.

It’s the first African American to become president. It’s a person elected from a minority grouping in a country to be its leader. It’s a blow to cynicism and a blow to racism. It’s a victory for common-sense and multi-racialism. It perhaps shows that the world is making steps in the right direction to shaking off the racial baggage of the past. It’s refreshing and invigorating.

It’s a victory for possibility and striving against the odds. It’s a victory for democracy not only in the US, but for the world. It’s an example for the world to follow, particularly countries that have dubious democratic credentials or are trying to carve a democratic path. It also shows that the U.S. truly does have a political system that many in the world should follow, a system that can correct itself and a system that can produce a leader such as Obama.

It’s also been the most sophisticated political internet campaign ever, which saw the most sophisticated political online social network ever built (with the help of Facebook founder Chris Hughes). It will be a model studied by political parties all around the world for years to come.

I have the sense that respect, decency and common-sense will be injected back into world politics. The US can conduct its foreign policy with renewed moral authority, and unlike before, more will listen and more will follow. It means the US will be in a powerful position to really push for positive change around the world — and take the lead and be decisive in dealing with rogue, corrupt, abusive states like Zimbabwe.

It feels like a victory for the people and a victory for honesty, morality and idealism. It’s a defeat for the narrow self-interest, the hyper-individualism, commercial oil interests and narrow business elite that so symbolised the Bush/Cheney administration, and to some extent the Republican Party. (I think the Republicans are going to self reflect after these elections and perhaps emerge a different, revamped party in years to come. I ended up liking John McCain. I felt that he was honest, self-deprecating and down-to-earth. It was a case of the right man, at the wrong time, with the wrong party.)

The cynics will say I’m an idealist and that this is, and will be, just politics as usual. They will say power-drunk politicians throughout time and throughout the world inevitably all behave the same way. That is why there is so much cynicism and why politicians have such bad reputations today in our modern society. I disagree. I think this time it’s different. I think the cynics are wrong.

2008 presidential election results, represented on a population “cartogram”

Sizes of states are rescaled according to their population. That is, states are drawn with size proportional not to their acreage but to the number of their inhabitants. (Source)

Comments (18)

  1. Johan Nel wrote::

    I was just visiting Barack’s FB support page. It’s amazing over 500 000 wall post all congratulating him. These good wishes are from all over the world. I agree with the fact that we witnessed history in the making today and believe that change and improved perceptions towards the US government and people is happening as I write this.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm #
  2. heartwarmer wrote::

    I wonder if John McCain had chosen a different vice president, if we’d still have a Barack victory. I know it doesn’t really matter now, but I just wonder.
    He moved the world that Barack, what a man.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 9:29 pm #
  3. Craig Bruton wrote::

    I often wonder when listening to his speeches whether he writes them himself, I imagine he doesn’t but he truly delivers them like he has.. What an inspirational guy!

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:00 pm #
  4. Devin wrote::

    My last comment didn’t appear, was it too long or was it censored because of the negative sentiment to Senator Obama?

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm #
  5. matt wrote::

    @Devin — not sure. I’ll check… may have been mistaken as spam by akismet if it was too long. No censorship here, I assure you!

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm #
  6. matt wrote::

    @Devin — nah, cant find it. try again, try make it shorter?

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm #
  7. matt wrote::

    @Craig Bruton — apparently he does write his own speeches:,8599,1837368,00.html

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 4:53 pm #
  8. matt wrote::

    @Johan Nel — completely agree

    @heartwarmer — CNN were saying that McCain’s ratings started dropping after the palin-katie couric video and then obviously the financial meltdown… the sense is that Palin invigorated the party and the campaign, but many party supporters were turned off…

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm #
  9. Devin wrote::

    Thanks Matt, I didn’t think it was censorship :-).

    Will post again.

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 10:19 pm #
  10. RonaldLI wrote::

    Спасибо за текст! Очень понравилось

    Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 12:17 pm #
  11. Devin wrote::

    I’m always amazed at how people have got caught up in this, I myself was caught up 12 months when I first heard Barrack, but then I spent this year researching and I realize this is just same old same old.

    Also as a ex-pat living in the states, I now realize why people don’t want to vote for democrats (that’s not to say republicans are much better and I think Bush is the worst president ever).

    No it’s because I now understand the principles of liberty and the amazing ideals that the US was founded on. Obama doesn’t represent that, though his journey does. He represents bigger government, the dangers of the two party system and the overwhelming power of the media and now facebook to make the masses believe anything.

    So it’s amazing that a black man is President elect this is true, but I think if every-one was truly informed they would have voted for the man who represented FREEDOM (Ron Paul).

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:50 pm #
  12. Devin wrote::

    “Consider the hysteria we have witnessed over the last couple weeks. Despite the nearly identical programs of both Obama and McCain – the continuation of the empire, the police state, the corporatist regulatory machine and entitlements, with some superficial differences here and there – millions of Americans are convinced this is “the most important election” in decades, if not since the birth of the American republic.

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:50 pm #
  13. Devin wrote::

    Matt your blog is broken I can’t post the rest of my comment!

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:55 pm #
  14. Devin wrote::

    …..Because their two agendas are so similar, every minor difference becomes amplified into a question of immense international importance.

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:56 pm #
  15. Devin wrote::

    …..So long as most Americans are swindled by the promises of mass democracy and distracted by its insanities,

    we cannot be free.

    So long as national unity is seen as a goal to be pursued through nationalism and the coercive central state, we will be needlessly divided

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:57 pm #
  16. Devin wrote::

    Click my name, read that article and respond if you can please Matt.

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm #
  17. Devin wrote::

    Sorry about all the posts Matt, it’s frustrating not to able to post my entire comment, what character limit do you have on posts? The system also got confused as it thought I was duplicating posts even tho the “original” was never posted onto the comments.

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 9:03 pm #
  18. Devin wrote::

    No comment Matt?

    Read Ron Paul’s – Manifesto for a revolution, then get back to me.

    Obama is on 60 Minutes here in the USA tonight, he is good. But read this

    Monday, November 17, 2008 at 3:06 am #