Obama: His reelection, global hope

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The lack of leaders, especially in the West, is overwhelming. Only President Obama can reunite the United States that the whole world needs for the great historic turning point that lies on the horizon.

Former Portuguese President Mario Soares is one of the few high-level political leaders from the key years in the democratic reconstruction of Europe and the world who continues in his watch tower, inspiring changes based on his profound experience and ethical values. A few weeks ago he wrote an “Open Letter to Barack Obama" in which he sent his best wishes for Obama’s reelection: “If your Republican opponents are returned to power, the results would be far worse than Bush Jr.’s second term. This cannot happen. It is not a simple election; it is about the future of the West and the world".

On several occasions I have written in my blog about Obama’s “solitude” in global governance ("At Last, Disarmament", 9.10.09; "Without a Single Republican Vote", 5.04.10; "President Obama is playing his cards. Europe is pulling back", 7.02.12; "Hollande and Obama, could be...", 7.05.12)... And it’s just that, despite the immense (military, media, financial and energy) powers in the hands of the major figures within the Republican Party, Obama has finally achieved one of the dreams of all of the Democratic presidents since Harry Truman: Medicare for all Americans (40 million of whom could not get healthcare through insurance companies). Although it sounds improbable, Mitt Romney has promised to repeal that law immediately!... and many Americans, accustomed to looking out solely for their own interests, won’t refuse him their votes for that reason. They forget that Republican party presidents were the ones who abandoned the United Nations, replacing them with groups of oligarchs (G7, G8, G20); and who refused to sign the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child; the International Criminal Court, the Law of the Seas; ... and who decided to invade Iraq based on lies, resulting in millions of displaced people and thousands of deaths and injuries.

A few of the disgruntled, such as Jonathan Schell ("El País", 28.10.12) believe that “the Obama of 2008 won’t return. He has left forever". I believe that he wisely “left” when needed during moments of harsh Republican harassment, but that he has “returned” when the circumstances warranted doing so. Despite the immense power of the pro-Republican communications media, Obama continues to be the choice of young people and of the most humble and vulnerable. Especially the immigrants, for whom he has implemented profoundly humane policies and whom Romney has treated with such contempt.

Obama will undoubtedly continue his policy of creating jobs with FED incentives, which has produced such positive results to-date. And he will regulate the possession of weapons, while developing energy policies and protecting the environment with the special care expected from the (still) most powerful country on earth. For years the Exxon Mobile Foundation and other oil companies deceived the world concerning climate change (see "The Truth of the Denial" in Newsweek, 13 August 2007).

The wise decisions that Obama has already adopted to decrease immense military spending have been harshly attacked by the United States’ “hawks” –American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation and the Foreign Policy Initiative- with their joint declaration "Defending Defense" last June (see Jim Lobe’s blog at http://www.lobelog.com). We shouldn’t forget that the major part of the 4,000 million dollars invested daily in military spending and weapons (which is truly scandalous when at the same time there is a silent genocide of 60,000-70,000 people who die of hunger) comes from the U.S.

Paul Ryan is even more radical than Romney, and both know the U.S. well from their perspective. But their knowledge of the world is dangerously lacking. With them, relations with Europe will be jeopardized and the inadmissible ambitions of Israel vis-à-vis Iran will become a reality. Iran has too many oil reserves (and don’t forget that Iraqi oil is already to a great extent in the hands of major U.S. oil companies).

The Mormon business empire, with assets valued at 30,000 million dollars (according to Política Exterior’s weekly report, 23.07.12) should (as should others) increase its currently precarious social programs.

Despite the real estate bubble, hedge fund loans, the financial depression of 2008... Obama was able to head off the severity of the recession with stimulus packages capable of initiating the recovery that is so appreciated by part of the U.S. electorate.

The present American administration has taken into account the new labor model, with profound changes in the very nature of employment (due to de-localized production and computerized automation) and workers. This should prove to Europe that the answer can’t be found in austerity, which only compensates financial institutions, weakens the middle classes and dismantles the social safety nets achieved with so much effort in the past.

"Strength and moderation" were the qualities attributed to Barack Obama on the editorial page of "El País" (15.09.12). Instead of the raised fist of the policies of dominance, so characteristic of the U.S., Obama has offered an outstretched hand. With four more years and with possibilities for demonstrating citizen power that were heretofore inexistent, the U.S. president could begin implementing genuine democracy at the global level. A “globalization” based on the contrary of his predecessor Reagan: ethical principles; multilateralism; concerted efforts; cooperation. In that event, the “American dream” would become the dream of all of the world.

During a second term President Obama could do many things that humanity desires and to which he has already alluded: re-founding the United Nations system; achieving peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; sustainable development, replacing exploitation of the poorest countries with international cooperation; amicable attitudes in relations with the Russian Federation, Turkey and India; rapprochement and dialogue with the Islamic nations; a friendly balance with China... for that “new beginning”, for that new era that he announced a few months after his first mandate.

If Obama is re-elected, with Hollande in Europe; with efficient leaders in Latin America; with willingness to devote the much deserved aid to Africa... the presently darkened horizons would be illuminated.

Hopefully the desires of the majority of Americans and of the immense majority of the world’s citizens will be fulfilled.

Then we would finally be able to rid ourselves of the last evidence of a system that is still crippling Europe and commence a new era in which we could achieve (and I never tire of repeating this, because this is my dream) the formidable prelude of the United Nations Charter: "We the Peoples..." All human beings, equal in dignity, determining their own destiny. A world led by a U.S. President of the black race. What an achievement!