Sunday, 18 January 2009

Two days away from the inauguration

So, we are two days away from the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of these United States.

It hardly seems possible that a genuinely African-American man will become our Chief Executive.

As recently as six months ago my “liberal” friends were opining that “America is not ready for a black President”. At that time my jaundiced reply was that “we’ll never be ready until we elect a black President”.

That we have done. It is a sober and joyous moment as we remember how far we have come in about 50 years. In 1959 a black man or woman could scarcely have been elected as the village rat catcher in most States (South and North).

Now we have elected a black President.

Tuesday’s ceremonies in Washington D.C. will be momentous.

Here is my “take”.

If our best hope is that President-elect Obama will solve the economic problems, then we shall be disappointed. The entire global village is in a fiscal/economic mess. We baby boomers have seen the best of times. Barack Obama alone cannot turn things around.

But if our best hope is that Barack Obama will launch a new era of cooperation both domestically and internationally, then we shall see signs of hope.

In our present deep quagmire we shall all sink if we continue the old patterns of competition and neo-colonialism.

But we shall all rise if the national and global communities agree to cooperate.

That is my best hope for the next four years.

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