Rebecca Ramirez" />
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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Global perspective needed in election

While the presidential election is almost a year away, anticipation for a new leader is steaming, not just in this country, but all over the world.

The running candidates are both familiar and fresh and have riled up interest. People across the globe tuned in to see the results of the primaries and were just as surprised by Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Ill., recent win in Iowa.

This country is so deep into foreign affairs that any candidate can be a pivotal figure in making decisions that can affect the rest of the world – much like President Bush has been in the last eight years.

Though the U.S. follows through with a "democratic" method of selecting its president, it still fails in participation. There are more than 6 billion people in the world who will all feel the results of the election, yet the decision is left in the hands of some 120 million Americans. In some way or another the results may matter more to a foreigner than a citizen because some candidate may take a stand that will directly affect him or her. The war in Iraq may not be over, but with a new leader it will inevitably take a new turn. These and many other international issues are at hand, and people around the world want to know who can represent them in a positive way.

Of all the candidates that have shown up, there is one that has caught the attention of everyone – Obama. He would impact not just the United States if he were to win, but the whole world. A victory for him would challenge the anti-American feelings felt around the world because it would show that America is open to change and open to a new vision. Implementing Obama’s way of thinking means hope for the minorities in the U.S. and would open up new, global opportunities for them.

Many people in Kenya are watching the U.S. elections closer than their own because they know that it is not in their home but in the White House that change for their country resides.

In an early debate, Obama was asked if he would be willing to meet diplomatically and without any preconditions with leaders from Iran, Cuba, Syria and Venezuela to bridge the gaps that divide these countries from ours. Obama stated that believing that ignoring the countries is punishment to them is incorrect. He then followed with references to President Reagan and President Kennedy, who continuously held dialogue with Russia during the Cold War.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D- N.Y., was unsure of the question and whether she would meet with the leaders. She stated that she would not meet the leaders in her first year, nor would she meet without any preconditions. Kishore Mahbubani, dean of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, describes her attitude perfectly, saying Clinton is suspicious, cold and calculating.

Not everyone would be overjoyed over a person like this, but Europeans like this type of attitude and Clinton is well-received because of her name recognition with former President Bill Clinton, an uncanny parallel to Argentina’s Kirchner dynasty.

While the decision is in the hands of a few, it affects the rest of the world. The new president has to be someone who has fresh intellectual prowess and someone who will reinvent world diplomacy. Let us hope that someone will make it all the way through and create change.

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