Obamamania has gone, common sense remains

The people of the United States of America have changed. Four more years of President Obama endorses a sensible, intelligent approach to international affairs and socio-economic policymaking. The euphoria of Obamamania is less intense but the values he represents swept across the USA last night from East to West coast.

As predicted in this column, Barack Obama won the US election last night, a victory which seemed to have been far more apparent to those of us living outside the United States of America than many political commentators making a handsome living within her frontiers.

The party over, nobody this time around has a hangover because the champagne corks were not popping in 2012 like they did four years ago. Without a roller-coaster ride to look forward to, President Obama, his supporters, policymakers in the United States and their partners in the international community know it is time to roll up their sleeves and continue working against the economic and social crisis, the heritage of the Bush regime.

This means building bridges around the world instead of bombing them and building the foundations for prosperity, concentrating on an education system which delivers flexibility of skills for a changing workplace, on the creation of jobs and on retraining for those who lost them.

Common sense dictated that the citizens of the USA knew that four short years would not be enough to make inroads against the shocking legacy of eight years of blind Republicanism, in which the White House pandered to the caprices of the corporate elitists pulling its strings.

Yet let nobody forget the irresponsible and treacherous opposition battle fought by the GOP these last years since the House of Representatives did its utmost to block President Obama's policies and try to ensure that he was a one-term wonder. They failed.

That said, President Obama will only have a truly free hand to push through the reforms that the USA needs when he has Congress on board and not working against him, playing a party political game, once again seeing the Republican Party trying to satisfy its own needs ahead of a national agenda.

While it may please the Republican Party and its leaders to play politics against the national interest, there remain pressing issues which require intelligent and responsible policy-making by Statesmen, not silly little games by back-slapping good ol' boys behaving like children, practising 1970s politics in the 21st century.

In case people haven't noticed, the entire credibility of the economic system is at stake, since the capitalist-monetarist model has morphed into something more sinister, namely the corporatist model which has replaced the butcher and baker on the street corner with the Big Space, which has seen the small player excluded from tenders for service only open to those with six-figure turnovers, which sees dangerous dark forces behind the Pentagon and NATO dictating foreign policy, siding with terrorists as they follow the geo-political hegemonic dreams of the lobbies.

This is the world we live in, this is the model which promises to destroy everything we and our forefathers fought for during decades of struggle and sacrifices. Barack Obama cannot fight these evils alone. However, if there is a spirit of political collaboration at home, of responsible cohabitation and working towards a common goal - the good of the nation rather than party political interests - and if this spirit can be implemented around the world in an approach made with equality and respect, then finally we can have a world in which the same set of weights and measures are applied to all and we can begin to say that common human values and international law exist in fact, not only in name.

This would be a fitting political epitaph for Barack Obama if he can pull it off and would project his image as one of the greatest statesmen the world has seen, joining visionary leaders like Vladimir Putin on a world stage which requires a multilateral approach to crisis management. That is, if the Republicans allow him to pull it off.

On a final note, if the GOP wants to occupy the White House in four years' time, it has to sort itself out, sort its policies out, find policies which strike a chord with people in 2012 and not flounder around trying to grab vote-catching soundbites from left and right of centre using lightweight wannabes whose claim to the Presidency is, well, I wannabe.

With the McCains hanging around in the background waiting to pounce and the Palins screeching embarrassing one-liners from the touchlines, the Republican Party does nothing to engender a spirit of renewal, something it so badly needs; this begins with sensible and non-partisan cross-party cooperation and national policymaking. Let us see whether the GOP is capable of this.


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey



Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey