The real America has spoken, said Obama. Barack Hussein Obama has made history. Whatever he does in office in the next four years, his place in history is assured.
He is the first non-White President of the US. His victory is being compared as ground breaking as that of John F Kennady and Abraham Lincoln. The big demographic transition in the US in recent decades and the economic crisis afflicting the poor helped this win.
Nobody expected that America was ready for a Black as President. Those who believed in the victory of Obama doubted a last minute surge for a White President. There was a last minute surge, but that also proved to favour Obama. The youth and migrants voted overwhelmingly. America will never be the same again. A well-nurtured, hugely-overstated but ultimately invincible white solidarity is broken like a house of cards. This is the audacity of dream and hope. ?We can do it, we have done it?, declared Obama and millions cheered with tears rolling down their cheeks in happiness and fulfillment.
Such emotional moments are rare in history. Such brilliant leaders who overturn a tradition of generations and bring a new dawn of hope are born once in a lifetime. This is not a change, but a chance to change, as Obama observed.
His theme song was to unite his people, and create a new America and restore the confidence of the world in that country. Because of the momentous task he promised to undertake, there was widespread excitement, anticipation and anxiety. Obama became equally popular across the globe. The kind of enthusiasm and exhilaration he evoked in the developing world is a measure of apprehension and aversion the Bush hegemony promoted.
India cannot be indifferent. In fact, Obama became hugely popular in India because of the soft human face he personified. In the real sense it may not matter much for this country. Whoever is the American President he essentially pursues only his country'sinterest. The system does not allow much elbow room for the incumbent. But it is a renewal of hope for the US.
He conducted one of the most breathtaking, innovative and effective campaigns in political history and recast the 232-year history of his country. As he said in his first speech after victory, his election reinstated the idea of America, of the people, for the people, by the people. Equally significant was the speech by the Republican candidate John McCain after acceding his defeat. In a voice choked in emotion McCain said he had differences with Obama, they still persist, but there is something that connects (us) beyond all differences, the love for the country and a shared vision of making it the greatest on earth. This is what sets America apart from other countries. In India too we have to cultivate this patriotic spirit.
It was a vote for change. Obama stood with the ordinary people. His emphasis throughout the campaign was on the emancipation of the voter. He stressed the need for governmental intervention not to protect the rich, but to ensure equity in distribution of national wealth. Economics along with race played a major role in the election. Obama repeated, another four years? What he meant was the McCain win will be a continuation of the so-called eight-year nightmare of George W. Bush. That McCain was not able to break away from the Bush legacy and that he was not clearly spelling out a departure from the policies of Bush proved all his hardwork and personal charm wasted.
There are many who thought that a Republican President would have been better for India. And Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh even suggested that all Indians loved Bush. In America however Bush had become as popular as Dr. Singh in India.
Obama'sparticularly the Democrat'sviews on NPT, Kashmir and global warming have the potential to make India wary. But the evangelist drive in the Republican agenda was equally scary. The funk money market capitalism Bush was exporting unsettled millions of lives to the benefit of a few. This was exploited to the hilt by Obama. Now the world awaits how dramatic and definitive that break is going to be. America will never be the same again.