24 Heures, Switzerland

[The Telegraph, U.K.]



24 Heures, Switzerland

A Man, a Destiny, a World: The Best of America


"The arrival today of the first man of color to the apex of power in the only global superpower testifies to the logic of his country and its evolution. Once again, America was ready."


EDITORIAL By Chief Editor Thierry Meyer


Translated By Kate Davis


November 5, 2008


Switzerland -24 Heures - Original Article (French)

A man, a destiny, a world. Rarely since the end of the Second World War has the democratic election of a leader brought these three parameters together as much as on November 4, 2008. The accession of Barack Obama to the White House is an exceptional convergence of symbols, hope and renewal that has seldom been found in history.


This election is historic, it is extraordinary, but it isn’t surprising. America was ready: Everything was in place for the barrier of race to be broken down, for the neoconservative mirage to be destroyed, for a page to be turned and for a blank page to be written upon.


Clearly over the eight-year course of the Bush years, power has been divisively used and a fatigue for fakers, lies and of gesticulations has set in. In the wake of the financial maelstrom of recent months, rightly or wrongly, an economic, political and strategic cycle has come to an end. There has been a vacuity of isolation, of saber rattling and of crusades. The United States could no longer stand being weakened by its own mediocrity. The Republicans paid heavily for this lack of intelligence and can only thank their nominee and his remarkable dignity in defeat for not having racked up even greater losses. Their political fate is more arid than the sands of Iraq.


[The Telegraph, U.K.]


At the same time, there is also an almost immaterial desire for change, for a regeneration of power, a power that can bring possibilities rather than impossibilities, of reunification rather than division, of projects rather than dismantling. At the root, the differences between the programs of McCain and Obama are undoubtedly fewer than, to take an example we can understand, the differences that separated [Socialist Party candidate] Ségolène Royal  and [now-President] Nicolas Sarkozy. The contours of Obama’s program, which seems more a product of autobiographies than law books, remains blurry. At the risk of offending the purists, one must say loud and clear that the essentials are missing. Barack Obama embodies the leadership that America - and much of the world along with her - expects. Much more pragmatism, some core values, but, above all, a style, a way of doing things and being that is an invitation rather than a threat.


There is, finally, above all, there is an America that has recognized in this gangly forty-something with Black and White roots the best of itself. He is the embodiment of its lasting dream, its primordial founding virtue: optimism and confidence in its destiny. The arrival today of the first man of color to the apex of power in the only global superpower testifies to the logic of his country and its evolution. Once again, America was ready. The presence of ethnic minorities involved with the intricacies of political power, the economic environment, media, sports and leisure is greater and more definitive than in European countries. But the race riots and expressions of racism have undoubtedly been more violent and more grotesque, as well. Is this a Contradiction? No, because this reality perfectly reflects two basic American tenets that differ from the European sense of freedom and identity.


Freedom is that which has allowed both slavery and its eradication; the assertion of civil rights and the existence of the Ku Klux Klan; the many "success stories" of "self-made men," and the absence of the social state. Whoever is in power in America, this will remain at the heart of the country's psyche. The American identity is declamatory. It is an affirmation of self, a personal definition; it isn't the product of history, of clans or of generations. Anyone can be American. 



[Courier International, France.]


It is thus, with the convergence of all of these elements, that the racial issue has finally begun to fade. A CNN exit poll clearly indicated that the skin color of the two candidates played only a marginal role in the vote. America has chosen its best representative - the one it identified with.


After the waiting come the expectations. They are often overblown in the United States, as they are everywhere else in the world. Is Barack Obama destined to disappoint? For those who believe in pipe dreams, of course. For the others, maybe not. Not yet. In two years of campaigning, Obama has done almost everything right. He is immensely adept. He knew how to foil every trap and negotiate every step with astonishing mastery. On the day after his election, he definitely gets the benefit of the doubt: a capital of sympathy and confidence commensurate with the extent of his victory. And a world that he has revived for the world: progress.






































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US November 7, 12:25pm]