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Why the World Loves Obama

Why the World Loves Obama

America is preparing for its famous battle between red and blue states during the presidential elections. If history is any guide, it will be close call in November. However if the whole world could vote, Barack Obama would win by a landslide. Why is that so? Why is Obama far more popular outside the United States than John McCain, despite the fact that McCain is much more of an international personality today than George Bush was eight years ago?

Europeans, Africans, Asians and Latin Americans recognize that there is something very unique in Obama’s candidacy–something much needed and unprecedented in U.S. presidential history.

Beyond global warming and the threat of terrorism, there is one issue that defines the challenges of our time: Globalization. Over the past 20 years, trade, travel and the Internet increasingly have erased borders. Our issues have become global issues. And in such circumstances the most powerful nation has to play a global role much more than in the world full of borders of the past. That’s exactly what the Bush administration has not done. George Bush has been blinded by narrowly defined American self-interests and he has isolated his country from the rest of the world–not a wise thing to do in the age of globalization.

The world needs a new American president who is a true global leader; a president who wants to listen to other perspectives and who is ready meet the other. And here comes Barack Obama, a man destined to build bridges. He is American, but he’s also African. He’s Christian, but he has a Muslim name. He is black and he is white. He was partially raised in Indonesia–not as an expat but among the locals. He’s had tea with his grandmother in a hut in third-world Kenya.

Obama doesn’t belong to any particular kin. And that’s his greatest strength. America never has had such a candidate. Barack Obama is much more than potentially the first black president of the United States. He is, by his personal experience, a citizen of the world. He needs to listen to the other to better understand himself. He is not afraid of the other, because the other is in him. If he wants to belong to the world, he has to reach out. That’s his gift to the world. And there is no better gift that America can present to global politics at this time.

As much as Obama knows that he needs to build bridges for himself, he knows that America needs to build bridges again to the rest of the world. In today’s world, America is not alone and cannot go alone. Obama knows that it is in America’s best self-interest to become part of the world again. Obama knows, the rest of the world knows. Do the red states know?

Jurriaan Kamp is the founder and editor of Ode Magazine, the magazine for intelligent optimists.

Read more: Intelligent Optimist, News & Issues

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Jurriaan Kamp

The Intelligent Optimist is a community centered around a magazine, a website and online events and courses. We focus on the people, passion and possibilities changing our world for the better.

57 comments

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12:09PM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

I am so glad he became our president twice. I wish him well as he continues in his administration. Good article. thanks.

10:54AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

Obama was the absolute BEST choice for President in one of the most difficult times I've ever experienced. I sleep better knowing that he is at the helm. Now, if we could just rid ourselves of those right wing wackjobs, we could get this country back to the greatness it was.

3:16AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

Thanks

2:45AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

thanks for sharing

9:33PM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

Thank you.

9:33PM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

Thank you.

11:43AM PST on Jan 12, 2012

As an outsider looking into your country..(Canadian) I have to agree with those that have said that, at least thru the Obama administration, I see the USA as becoming a more popular country than it has been in a long time, and have to agree with those like Penny J, who put the blame on the poor job-market squarely on the shoulders of those to blame...the HUGE multi-national, filthy rich corporations that are allowed to outsource as much of thier work as they can to protect thier mansion-owning, ferrari-driving own bank accounts. Look at companies like (from the reading I have done here on Care2 anyway) the much hated Wal-mart ET-AL, who hire AS MANY part-time,minimum wagers as they can so as not to have to pay any benefits or health-care etc, and also buy as much cheap foreign made products as they can..I know, because we are suffering from the same dillemma here. Obama or not, whoever gets voted into office HAS to be the one who will deal directly with better jobs, benefits,Healthcare and more locally made products..not someone who will line thier own pockets with kickbacks from the corporate rich!!! Build, Buy and Hire locally..American, OR Canadian, depending on your country!!

10:28AM PDT on Sep 20, 2011

Well said PJ!

9:26AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Here is something for those right wings to think about. First of all we have (1) Black President who is hated by most of these wing nuts who are still living back in slavery time and feeling that he has no right to be in "THE WHITE HOUSE". Reality check, God did give us a brain, and believe it or not there may be more Black men and women who can and someday handle the crisis here in the United States. As far as the job market, thank your corporations for outsourcing them over seas for cheaper labor because they don't want to pay you health care, vacation nor sick leave where they can work these people for pennies a day and keep millions in their pocket. Thank the Republicans for the wars, big spending, wall street falling, and big banks still foreclosing on people's home. He got in office to try and clean this mess up, and if you have such ignorant people working against you, you will most likely have a hard time. I am one that is sick and tired of people slandering my President that is trying his best which you seem to think isn't. My advice to you is keep living and see how the republicans will strip you of your SSI and Medicare and see how you will live than. The article was great, and for those who doesn't agree, who cares.

8:07PM PST on Mar 2, 2011

I 'd just like to remind Jeannine--and anyone else who's interested in some reality--that the economy collapsed, i.e., "went on the ropes," in Sept., 2008. That was 2 months before Obama was elected and 4 months before he became president.
In case you have forgotten, it was more than 7 1/2 years into the Bush/Cheney/Rove presidency.

I am not thrilled with every decision Obama has made, either./ But let's get real here.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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