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Going beyond race: appreciating the real change Barack Obama has already brought

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Nothing short of a massive earthquake the likes of which the world has never witnessed could make me write on a post that doesn’t have to do with NaNoWriMo08. And that’s exactly what happened last night, with the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States.

While him being of African descent does make it more interesting, the racial hype has unfortunately taken a lot away from the person that is Barack Obama. I have the impression that the greater public has yet to realize that Barack Obama’s greatest achievement to date isn’t that he is the first African-American president, but rather that most of his financial support comes from the likes of you and I. And since he is now indebted to millions of Americans who have each contributed a little something to his campaign, he owes them. He has become the first president in a long time that has to answer to the people, rather than to specific interests.

This is huge.

Now that a president has made a connection that goes beyond the usual “Vote for Me” connection, mightn’t be used for an even greater good? Maybe, inspired by him and bolstered by the energy released from his election, people will take the message to heart and actually start contributing at the grassroots to promote change. This would create a dynamic conducive to the growth of society: a president intent on changing things from the top down, and a population intent on changing things from the bottom down.

Or, human nature being what it is, Americans might now choose to sit back and wait for Barack Obama to make that change happen. Even if this happens, it could be for the better. For, in a couple of months, the president can address Americans and ask them to make as much effort from the bottom up that he is putting from the top down. It is doubtful that the entire country would ignore such an appeal from him.

Whatever happens, one thing is certain: change is vital for the survival not only of the American dream, but also for the survival of the human race. And this change needs to be much, much more than adjusting policies and creating a new system of checks and balances. Humanity needs to become aware of its nobility and start acting in a manner befitting its station, rather than perpetuating the negative cycles of the past. Hopefully, Barack Obama is the first step towards reclaiming our nobility.

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