Monday, January 19, 2009

Can Obama Handle The Pressure?

Tomorrow, the United States of America will swear in it’s first ever Black President. Not since the swearing in of President John F. Kennedy has there been such a roar. Many are already comparing Obama to the former JFK.

Hotels in Washington are all sold out – and the few rooms available at further hotels are going for an alarmingly high $800-$1,000-plus a pop, as people from all over the world flock to the American capital to see history unfold.

There are even groups from here in Canada going south to the States, to see the swearing in ceremony.

The media around the world, but naturally mostly in the States has been hyping this too – not just the swearing in, but the whole Obama craze.

Obama, not to be out done, has continued on his theme of global change.
That’s a lot of pressure on the new prez. Can Obama handle it?

Obama appears to be a visionary, with new ideas, enthusiasm and energy. He will be one of the youngest presidents to be sworn into American politics too, and there lies the problem.

Many a young person has come and gone from all walks of life, hoping to make a change, but in the end just following the herd. It isn’t uncommon for young people, fresh out of school, to enter some big mega-corporation with a visionary mantra, full of new ideas, enthusiasm and energy.

Although those at the top say they are open to these youthful spurts of exuberance, very little changes. In fact, those that continue to push their ideas forward usually end up quickly looking for another job. Those left behind, seeing their colleagues crushed and defeated, quiet down, and step in line – as they have learned the one lesson they don’t teach in school.

That lesson is simple – new ideas are great, but keep them to yourself unless you want to be unemployed, and unable to pay your bills.

Will Obama face the same fate? Granted, Obama is the leader of the pack, unlike our fresh-out-of-school kids. But the old, regular faces of the House of Representatives, and even of Obama’s own political party still must accept their new leader’s ways, before anything actually happens.

If Obama’s ideas don’t make it all the way up the political ladder, eventually he will lose the faith of those who elected him, as they see him fall into line, just to get some of his less controversial initiatives passed.

We have seen this happen even here in Canada, towards the end of former Prime Minster Brian Mulroney’s leadership. Mulroney was smart, he knew he had lost the support he needed to be leader of one of the largest countries in the Western world, so he stepped down, and put Kim Campbell in charge. Campbell lost the subsequent election – essentially taking the fall for Mulroney – in what was one of the shortest Prime Ministerships ever.

Obama comes into power amidst one of the worst times to do so. The American’s have started wars they can’t finish without international aid in both Iraq and Afghanistan, with potentially new wars brewing for them in Israel and North Korea. American foreign policy has already built brick walls in many countries around the world, and public opinion globally of Americans is at an all time low. The global economic crisis is hitting the States hardest of all, as millions have lost their jobs, their homes – their lives.

And despite all of this and perhaps more, Obama has all the energy, enthusiasm and eagerness of a young kid out of college.

Good luck young man – you certainly need it.

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