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I’m OK with President Obama

November 5th, 2008

The pre-election chatter from the right wing in the American election has often reminded me of the “Stephen Harper has a scary hidden agenda” nonsense we have endured for years here in Canada. Once elected, of course, the hidden agenda was shown to be, sadly, missing. As others have observed before, the ship of state cannot easily be turned. Even if Obama is determined to turn America into a vacuous socialist state, it will take time.

I find the Presidents contributions are often cultural as much as political. The President sets a tone for the country in how he acts that the country seems to subconsciously follow. Note, below, the Bloom County Cartoon from the 80’s (click on it for a readable size).

One of America’s true problems the past number of years has been a culture that seems to promote stupidity and illiteracy. Dropping out of high school is what the cool kids do. Black youth particularly seem to be inundated with role models that speak incomprehensibly. Whether it’s basketball players or hip hop artists, dropping out of the mainstream of society, speaking in mumbled street slang, wealth demonstrated through gauche wearing of “bling” is the norm for too many.

President-elect Obama is highly intelligent, literate and articulate. Much like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bill Cosby before him, he prizes his education, speaks clearly and has shown that a black man in America can be successful.

If President-elect Obama does nothing else, I sincerely hope his influence on culture is one that offers a different way for many young people, particularly but not exclusively in the African American communities, to strive for success. I hope he proves a needed anecdote to a gang culture that has decimated communities and left a generation without real hope.

Finally, congratulations to President Obama from At Home in Hespeler and I look forward to working for you — er — boss?

Politics American Style

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