Wednesday, 5 November 2008

With Respect to McCain

Today, was Obama's day! He won a landslide victory in a hard fought race, and he gave an elegant and inspiring victory speech. I expected nothing less.

But in defeat, John McCain earned back my respect; respect he had lost by the pettiness of his campaign, the fear mongering and the name calling in the last days of the race. His grace in deafeat was equally inspiring for me. In particular, the following words, among others inspired me:

"I won't spend a moment of history regretting what might have been."

Hats off to the comeback kid... At least he came back to respectability!


tekeste said...

In some parts of Africa politics is still defined by cold war soviet thinking. There are so many liberation movements, fronts, rebels etc claiming to fight for this or that cause and undermining the spirit of unity and real hard work to changing lives on the ground. The benchmark for success is the foreign media, the foreign investor and international organizations when the local hard working people are denied of the opportunity to lead a peaceful and productive life. Well that is the reality in the horn of Africa and I do not see how this part of the world can learn anything from Obama’s success. They remain too far from the starting point of Obama and American election.

Plato said...

Chege here, on a cold Nairobi night. I think your views about the lessons we can draw from Obama here in Kenya are spot on; I do believe however that you might have been a bit harsh on the public holiday thing-in the sense that we have had lesser reasons to celebrate public holidays but have nonetheless done so (enthusiastically) here in Kenya and elsewhere I'm sure. I realise this kind of reasoning (lowest common denominator) is not satisfactory but it useful to explain that Kibaki's announcement, far from being alien, is merely the continuation of a way of life.

Secondly, I agree that barrack had hope combined with hard work. It is the inter-relationship between the two that intrigues me. Arguably, people work hard because they have hope, which then becomes a virtuous cycle. Thus to engender hope in the world's black people, as Obama appears to have done, is to create a necessary pre-condition to hard work.