Barack Obama : From Question To Admiration
113 Pages
English

Barack Obama : From Question To Admiration

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If there is therefore at least a lesson for Africans to logically draw from the formidable “OBAMA Saga”, it is that African descendants, like Africans living on the continent, are not condemned to an eternal last position in all the classrooms of the world. The price to pay to transcend these false beliefs, this indolence and this fixed fatalism that characterizes many individuals and leaders of this continent, the cradle of humanity. Is faith in serious and rigorous work; rebirth of a real and firm confidence in the self, in Africa and in our abilities; recourse to a firm determination to surmount all obstacles in our way so as to develop a winning vision that had been previously defined and democratically accepted. It is not with self-flagellation and an inferiority complex in relation to other civilizations of the world that one could build the future of a proud, rich and prosperous Africa.


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Published by
Published 01 January 2009
Reads 86
EAN13 9789956091430
License: All rights reserved
Language English

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BARACK OBAMA : From Question to Admiration By Jean-Emmanuel PONDI www.jeanemmanuelpondi.com
Introduction
Let me now get into the heart of the matter and sta rt by asking a question because it is but normal for a question mark to always punctua te a question. The question is: “Barack WHO?”
That is the answer one would have gotten if this qu estion were put to an ordinary American citizen two or three years ago. Barack WHO? Because really, apart from the citizens of Hawaii and perhaps those of Chicago and probably a few Kenyans, a majority of the citizens of the world did not know Barack OBAMA. It is also true that for many Cameroonians and inhabitants of Equatorial and Central Africa, the name OBAMA belongs to the Central/Southern part of the c ountry, just as is the case in parts of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. But consideri ng the context, such interpretations may seem like a calculated attempt to hijack the name OBAMA.
Barack OBAMA has shown himself to be a real marvel and, this afternoon, I intend to further explain the different shades of the said ma rvel while attempting to solve this apparently disturbing puzzle: how a person who was virtually unknown in the United States five years ago managed to propel himself to the height of world politics in 2008, thus becoming almost an indispensable persona lity today on the world media landscape. From the time he announced his candidacy for the White House on February 2007, through the world media, Barack OBAM A became the topic of every conversation and the subject of every discourse. Co uld anyone here deny the fact that many of the full-blown young girls present in this lecture theatre only dream of Barack OBAMA?
How did a question of only a few years back get tra nsformed into an exclamation at of admiration in the evening of November 4, 2008, with respect to this extraordinary personality? From the point of view of political sc ience, I am pleased that the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC ) has, this afternoon, become one of the very first centres of reflection to discuss this theme. I shall suggest six clues for interpretation, six clues for explanation, knowing of course, that there could be several dozen others that could be available. I would like to briefly explore each of the clues.
Six Clues to explain the Barack OBAMA Magic
The first clue for explanation can be found in Amer ica’s recent history. America, the society that indeed favoured the arrival of a marve l like Barack OBAMA. He specific was not born out of nothing, but rather exists only in a context. It is in facing up to this historic context today that one can begin to really understand Barack Obama’s progression. Achievements of such historical figure s of the 1950s and 1960s as Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, the Kennedy brot hers or even the United States Supreme Court contributed in clearing the path whic h the Senator from Illinois would take several decades later.
The second clue for interpretation derives from the peculiarity of the American political system which tends to give a relative pride of plac e to an individual’s abilities rather than to the partisan machinery. Of course, one cann ot counterbalance one by the other. But, compared with voter behaviour in other countries, the American voter attaches more importance to an individual’s charact eristics, a situation that becomes advantageous to a meritorious candidate. The reason for this behaviour is simple: the two dominant parties agree on the essential, which is preserving America’s political options internally and consolidating America’s powe r externally.
The third clue to interpret Barack Obama’s success is inherent in the proper exploitation of the differences in the manifestoes presented to voters because, in spite of the agreement on the essentials mentioned earlier, there was an obvious contrast between the two manifestoes, the two socia l plans and the two philosophies (of the Republicans and the Democrats) which had to be compared by the voters. In this respect, it should be recalled that in the Uni ted States, it could often happen that a Democrat decides, for a given election, to vote f or the Republicans without raising any eyebrows. Across the Atlantic, this attitude is not seen as an act of betrayal. The American political culture allows every citizen of voting age (18 years) to make their choice both in relation to the context and the spec ific interests of the time. This peculiarity of the American political system is fun damental and important.
Concerning the real campaign manifestoes, we shall be looking at their differences and at how the campaign teams, especially Barack Ob ama’s, got to know how to rely on the powers of the computer not only to convince a maximum number of voters but also to generate considerable financial resources. May be it was because of the country’s large surface area (9 628 382 km2), the l ong duration of the presidential campaign (18 months) and the strategies adopted by the different campaign headquarters that the entire exercise became not on ly a real art but also a whole science for the victorious OBAMA camp as proven by the outcome of the elections in the morning of November 5...