Friday, 4 January 2008

Iowa is not Bethlehem of Judea

A baptism of hope

I woke up to the news that Mike Huckabee, the Baptist preacher and former governor of Arkansas State had taken the Republican nomination for the Iowa State caucus. The man was born in a little town called Hope where a Bill Clinton was born too.

Hope and Change are the message that resonates from the lips of Barack Obama the first-term Illinois Senator who took the Democrat nomination beating Hillary Clinton to 3rd place.

Indeed, I feel sorry for Hillary and her organisation which apparently failed to convince Iowans of her experience and leadership qualities, it is an unfortunate situation but not one that she cannot recover from – Next is New Hampshire.

Convinced for change

The Presidency of George W. Bush leaves us in no doubt that there is a renewed need for change and definitely one of great hope – people need to be inspired beyond the foreboding of war, famine, disaster, turbulent markets and pocket-book strictures.

The people need a Kennedy-esque vision of what they can do for their country which would in turn make their country work for them to greatness and achievement.

Senator Barack Obama seems to encapsulate that view and concept, it is a good thing, but the Presidency of America is not just the leadership of 300 million American citizens, it bestows the mantle of leadership that encompasses the whole of over 6 billion people of the human race.

The people of America are very well entitled to vote for local issues, but their leader would be a global leader of great importance to the peace and stability of the world – we do not have review the Presidency of Bush that much to see where relative inexperience garnered from being a State governor has lead us to a more restless world than when he assumed power.

I worry that Americans might be deluded into expectation of youth and right-sounding oratory without assessing the real substance of what it takes to lead the world by becoming the President of the United States of America.

New expectations

Now, the prospect of America having a black man as President means the country has moved by leaps and bounds, it does not mean that the issues of race are not still a problem, also the likeable prospect of a credible female President is something useful too, if America can be liberal enough to escape from the strictures of religious-driven male chauvinism to accept a woman as leader.

However, Iowa State, 26th in land size and 30th in population size which is not even a hundredth of the total in the United States is not the Bethlehem of old.- Out of Iowa shall not come the great leader that should take the world to new heights – the win in Iowa for Obama is a good and great one, but I still see Obama as better running for President in 8 years after having served as vice-President of the nation for 2 terms.

This job really does require experience, we need someone who would be ready and able on the 1st day, the 20th of January 2009 – Obama might be able, but definitely not ready to lead the world – there is a lot more to believing in a place called hope and it is not just in making us feel good.

The least significant

Note: The reference to Bethlehem comes from the prophecy about the coming of Jesus Christ – made in Micah 5:2 and recalled in Matthew 2:6 (NIV) - But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.

Iowa is the first in the primaries and one of the least in the United States, but the political Messiah of the United States and the world will not hopefully be decided by the events of this morning.

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