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Obama Redefines the Politics of the 21st Century: Lessons for African Politicians

Once in a while, history would reach a certain climax; a defining moment. As the momentum of victory whirls around the United States of America’s president elect, Mr. Obama, one is once again reminded of the following most powerful statement of the declaration of the American independence.

It is the most striking statement ever documented in the history of mankind:


    ‘We hold this truth to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…’


 However, the perfection of this declaration has been very gradual.  Slavery was abolished and freedom gained. Racial segregation was ended following civil right movement. Integration did replace it. One can actually see human history as a living organism which is not static but always in a constant evolution. A change of mass consciousness is the turning wheel wherein history’s cycle revolves. During his campaign, Obama triggered a change of mass consciousness. He redefined the way the world saw the blacks in America and the world over.


However, it is worthy to note that no other country in the western world could have elected a black citizen as president. No matter what opinion anyone might sustain, America remains the freest nation on the face of the earth. One can therefore say with some degree of certainty that America has once more defied the myth of racial impossibility and reiterated her ideals which are grossly anchored on the principles of democracy, liberty, equality and opportunity. Obama has become the American new face of unity in diversity as he rightly stated in his victory speech: “out of many, we are one”


No doubt, he has become a new breed of politician by helping to reshape politics of the 21st century. As a unique politician of his own kind, he is realistic in the here and now; futuristic in vision and has awakened people’s awareness to look at politics differently. He ran one of the cleanest campaigns in the history of America. He did not only impress his admirers but also his critics as well. He has sent a very strong positive massage about the new generation of America that are gradually dumping racism in the trash of history and who are reestablishing a viable union among the diverse ethnicities.  He also has reaffirmed the historic words of Martin Luther King Jr. that what matters is not the ‘color of people’s skins but the content of their characters’.


 I wish Obama’s victory would challenge African politicians. In Africa, politics is often perceived as the dirtiest adventure in life which only the warped minded people dabble into. Election time is like doom’s time. Victimization, thuggery, roguery, lies, intimidation, vindictiveness and violence had characterized the political scenario of the past and the present time. These vices are present particularly because positive political ideologies are lacking. Instead of debating issues, politicians indulge in acts of violence and intimidation to propel themselve as people’s representatives.


 Obama is a grass-root politician who understands that “change comes from the bottom up; not from the top down”. He understudied the structures of evil and injustice that occupy the political atmosphere in Washington and which tend to hinder genuine efforts to make meaningful progress. He connected with the people and was elected by the mandate of the people. He spoke to the existential situation of the Americans in the most pragmatic way. He understood the socio-political and economic challenges the American people face. He refuted the dirty politics of bickering with opponents and bamboozling the masses.


African leaders ought to lean the politics of transparency, accountability and closeness to the people.  They should see Obama’s victory as a victory of light over darkness; a victory of truth over lies; a victory of change over the establishments and the status quos and a victory of hope over cynicism. Obama should serve as a paragon of emulation in African politics. He should inspire Africans to embrace a new vision of opportunity and progress in the continent.


Obama’s political philosophy should help to inform and shape a new generation of politicians in Africa. It is high time the African continent begins to move forward. Everyone is tired of politicians’ godfathersism, nepotism, tribalism, corruption, embezzlement of public fund, and electoral malpractice with their dirty contaminations of progressive ideology in Africa. Finally, let Obama’s victory redirect the estranged politics of Africa in this 21st century towards a change of Africa in the future.




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