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Obama—one more time

By Kwame Nantambu

The most significant aspect of President Barack Obama's re-election victory is the salient reality that it has relegated to the ash heap of America's societal history the 1968 Kerner Commission's report on race and poverty in America to the extent that "America had become two societies—one black and one white, separate and unequal".

As America's first African-American president, Barack Obama has succeeded in bridging the racial divide because it would have been totally impossible for him to get re-elected without the majority white vote/support. It's that simple.

As President Obama eloquently stated in his victory speech: "It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight; you can make it here in America if you're willing to try. I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America."

The fact of the matter is that most Americans have realised that unlike politics, there is a lag-time where economics is concerned. In addition, the multiplier effects of macroeconomic policy also take time to materialise to their fullest potential in the economy.

In other words, as a result of the deep financial/economic bottom-less pit that Obama inherited in 2008, it would have been totally impossible for any president to turn the economy around in just the space of four short years.

Most Americans understand this economic reality and that's part of the reason why Barack Obama was re-elected. And this is not withstanding the two-year-long sustained acerbic refusal by the Republican-controlled Congress to pass/support jobs-creation bills proposed by the president.

Barack Obama needed four more years to finish the job.

Truth be told: in the President's own words, "The recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin. Our country is recovering. A decade of war is ending. (Osama bin Laden is dead; General Motors is alive)."

Indeed, President Obama was able to capture 332 electoral votes (270 needed to win), compared to Republican nominee Mitt Romney's 206.

Moreover, it must be mentioned that President Obama has also promised to work with both sides of the political spectrum to return America back to its powerhouse position as the world's number one economic giant. To this end, he intends to "sit down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move the country forward". That's maximum presidential leadership.

From an Afri-centric perspective, President Barack Obama seems to be keenly cognisant of slain civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King's opportune, apocalyptic admonition, thus: "Now the judgment of God (November 6, 2012) is upon us and we must either learn to live together as brothers (and Americans in common struggle) or we are all going to perish together as fools."

In the final analysis, with the re-election of Barack Obama as President, his vision and mission automatically and assuredly guarantee "the best is yet to come" for the United States of America.

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

• Dr Kwame Nantambu is a

part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies.

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