Generation Obama

4 June 2009

In this age of professional politicians, it has become rarer to find statesmen and stateswomen. However in President Obama, we see an astute politician, but also, in all probability, a great statesman.

Yes, he could falter or even fall since the future is always impossible to foretell, but if the past few months are anything to go by, omens are good. If he were to continue in his impressive form, he will determine the outlook of a whole generation. That generation will be more optimistic and open to the outside world than the preceding ones. This applies not only to the US, but also to the rest of the world. (Young) Americans will view the outside world differently, and non-Americans will view the US in a more positive light.

President Obama will not solve all the current problems that beset the world, but he has great moral authority to tackle them, not just power. His authority stems not only from his background or his intellectual abilities, but also from his ability to empathize, listen and convince. Consequently, he has a much stronger hand in international affairs, and the US power is enhanced. He speaks to all, not just governments, but to peoples and individuals. Democracy and peace in places like the Middle East have a better chance now than before. Mr Bush, the preceding US president, had great power but represented no compelling moral force to the outside world.