Meet Barack Obama, the next President of the United States. The voters have spoken.
Most already know that he will be making history as the first African-American US president. I believe he also will be the first ever head of state of a G8 Nation.
Although breaking through such racial barriers is certainly noteworthy, he embodies much, much more for America.
Today’s world is converging whether people like it or not. Go to Beijing and it’s hard to miss the KFC restaurants or the Starbucks coffee shops. In Moscow, BMW automobiles cruise up and down the streets. Young Koreans meet for dates at a variety of French bakeries. Many American teenagers prefer sushi over hot dogs in the West Coast and elsewhere.
The English language today has almost 550,000 words, five times more than when Shakespeare was writing his prose. Much of those words are borrowed from other languages. Yet, in America, the most powerful and rich nation in the world, some of our people are afraid of change. And like many times before in history, a nation of insulated people who do not embrace progress and change, will surely be left behind.
Did you know that there are more honor students (25% of the top students) in China than there are children in the US? We can either participate in these exponential times or not. Be forewarned, however, that decision will forever impact our future generations.
Barack Obama was born to an international couple of a Kenyan father and a white American mother. While the couple divorced when Obama was only two years old, his dual-cultural background impacted him deeply. Later, he was raised in Indonesia until the age of ten after his mother remarried. Thereafter, he was raised by his maternal white grandparents in Hawaii from the fifth grade through high school graduation.
Barack Obama understands the complexities of the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world in which we live. Yet, he is first and foremost an American, greatly influenced by his maternal grandparents and the American education system. He represents today’s America, and the future hopes and vision of how America will succeed in a changing world. Did you know that China will be the largest English speaking country in the world?
For the past eight years, our country’s leadership has incorporated a foreign policy of bullying. We weren’t interested in building world-wide consensus in our actions in Iraq.
I was living in London on September 11, 2001 when our nation was savagely attacked by terrorists. I was moved when people in Europe cried with us, and then stood by our sides as we invaded Afghanistan. But I also saw what American military bullying looked like from the outside when we unilaterally decided to attack Iraq without justification.
There is nothing that we Americans, through Barack Obama’s leadership, cannot fix in our relationship with the rest of the world. He will help us participate in the new world order through humility, diplomacy and business acumen. He will not allow our reactionary sector to flex our military muscle recklessly.
These are exponential times indeed. We need someone who is in tune with world economy, technical innovations and alternative energy sources. The internet, the airlines, and the interdependent capital markets have made our world that much smaller. That is why I embrace the change in America’s leadership. God bless our new president.