Friday, October 31, 2008
It's time: Obama on the home stretch
My bestest buddy El sent me an email this morning entitled "Look at the cover of the Economist". Unfortunately El did not include any text in his rather cryptic email and I have no clue how to get the Economist in print aside from those dudes who sell magazines on the street. Well, I suppose there are also the Shell shops, Max(y) Mart, Shoprite etc etc...but I digress. So I checked out the Economist online and their cover article is "An Endorsement of Barack Obama : Its Time" Now the Economist is hardly known as a left-leaning publication and at some point earned the wrath of some socialist types for being a mouthpiece of world finance capital. Now they are basically telling America to get on with it and elect Barack already and indeed I am inclined to believe these economist types know what they are talking about!
But what about the Bradley Effect? I heard somewhere that although this new buzz word may come into play, the power of the socalled Black vote may conteract this and influence the outcome of the election more than ever before. Indeed, African-Americans are turning out in record numbers to vote this year. I saw a window into this yesterday when I was hustling at the American Embassy in Accra. While I was bored out of my skull waiting for an appointment and being audibly assaulted by Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, I was struck by the number of African-Americans coming to register to vote and chatting excitedly about Obama. Of course, African-Americans living in Accra cannot possibly represent African-America in general but it was interesting to see. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate of voting for Obama on the basis of his colour but in him I see someone who is young, dynamic and exciting. Also, he represents a radical change for America as well as for the world in general. Watch me jump on to the winner band-wagon at the 11th hour!
But is an Obama Presidency good for Africa? I listened to a debate on BBC's "Africa Have your Say" the other day and the general concensus was that a Democratic presidency (traditionally more domestically focused) may do less for Africa compared to what Bush has (supposedly) done for us over the past 8 years. However, the experts concurred that regardless, having a Black man in charge of the free world would do amazing things for the African psyche. Bring it on!