Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Congratulations, Mr President…

Mr President, you done good!


 "Yeah, and I told Romney there was NO WAY he was gonna beat me!"

I must say that I really wanted President Barack Obama to win this election, partly because I believe he’s doing all he can to sort out the economic mess in the US, but also mostly because he and I happen to share the same race.

There, I said it. I’m as racially biased as the next guy, only I’m not afraid to admit it. The truth is that we are more likely to root for the guy who looks like us if there is no direct financial benefit for not doing so. It is not the politically correct thing to do, inelegant even, for obvious reasons. But we all do it anyway. All over the world. Including right here in Kenya. C’mon, you know what I’m talking about, don’t look at me like that.

Anyway, for a while back there, I was afraid that the Americans were going to do the unthinkable and elect Governor Mitt Romney. They did vote for George W. Bush after all. Twice

 Yap! This dude!

Now I’m sure Romney is a pretty stand up guy, nice family, good moral values, astute businessman blah blah blah… zzzz.

But there was always something not quite right about him. Maybe it was the glint in his beady eyes when he was talking about “… take back the White House…” on the campaign stump. Or maybe I just didn’t like him, period. Not that I had a good enough reason not to, no, it’s just that he was very keen to make the first black president of the United States a one term president!

Now that would have been embarrassing, not just for the president, but for all people of colour everywhere and that just didn’t sit very well with me. Yeah, call me the r word, see if I care (hint: I don’t).

I could just see it, some racist white Americans gloating over how they allowed a black man to be president knowing he would fail, and how they had just decided to take back the presidency because what the hell, just because! We are f*&$@#g Americans! We can do what we want!

President Obama has a lot of work to do in healing the American nation. Looking at the popular vote, one can see how polarized that country is; probably much like our own has been for some years now. I really hope that the Republicans will cut him some slack and not give him a hard time like they did in his first term. He’s not the new kid in school anymore.

He needs to be president of all America, and not just the Democrats. The Republicans need to set aside the politics, at least for the next two years before the midterm elections, and work with the president in getting traction on the economy.

Those of us who did not vote in that election because we were busy not being Americans, are happy because we like President Obama. He’s a cool cat! He gets along with most of the world and doesn’t want to start unnecessary wars just to show how mighty the US of A is. We know! Yeah, we got the memo.

My fear was that had Romney been elected president, he would in all probability have wanted to go to war with Iran over their nuclear program. He was beginning to talk about how Russia was America’s enemy. Man, who needs all the aggravation? War is an expensive undertaking for any country.

The US spent billions of dollars in the invasion and occupation of Iraq over some bullshit excuse by Bush 43 to prove to daddy Bush 41 that he had balls. Afghanistan is still bleeding dollars. Back home, we have just dealt with Al Shabaab in Somalia. That was a good and just war, but expensive nonetheless.

My point is that Romney would have become expensive for the world. A war in Iran would immediately affect global oil prices and you can take this to the bank, you would feel it in your pocket right there in Kibera too!

The last four years of the Obama presidency showed us that the US does not have to bully its way around the world, it can engage in soft diplomacy and still get its way. It’s all about making the other guy feel good about themselves and they will give you what you ask for.

Romney would have gone back to the bad old days of “The Ugly American” that characterized the Bush years, where the American was easily the most hated figure in the world. Obama has done much to improve America’s image globally and that cannot be a bad thing.

I watched Governor Romney’s concession speech after it became clear that he was not going to win this election, and I liked how gracious he was in his defeat. He even wished the president-elect and his family well. Now that’s how civilized people behave!

I hope all those Kenyan presidential candidates who will lose in 2013 will spare us the drama and just go out in style. We don’t need December 2007 all over again.

Finally, I know that President Obama has previously suggested that he might visit Kenya during his second term. I suspect, though, that if certain people are elected president here, he might suddenly find better things to do. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

I like you Mr President, but I’m a businessman and I simply cannot afford the disruption your visit would cause to my schedule. A tele/video arrangement… something… would be better. Think about that.

Congratulations and good luck in your thankless job. I wouldn’t do it if they paid me all the money in the world. Too much stress.

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