Obama Earthquake: Removal of Barriers

While the results of the presidential election await their final official announcement, the signs of Barack Obama’s victory and the atmosphere of celebration have spread across the U.S. Most analysts emphasize the racial significance of his being elected. In fact, socially, Obama’s advocacy of “change” in an attempt to “remove the barriers” is worth mentioning.

While George Herbert Walker Bush served as president of the U.S., the most significant historical event was the collapse of the Berlin Wall, which signified an end to the long-term authoritarian rule of the communist Soviet Union regime. When the nearly half-century old cold war came to an end, many anticipated it would be a comprehensive era of “the removal of barriers”, in which human barriers between various segments would be torn down, more interaction would lead to better understanding, more understanding would bring forth more effective communication, and closed boundaries would be replaced by openness. In the early 1990s, U.S.-led international politics set the same course of “the removal of barriers”. With the expansion of international mutual assistance and the reduction of regional tension and conflicts, the status and function of the United Nations were significantly improved.

Nevertheless, as we entered a new century, the tide suddenly turned. With great controversy, George W. Bush was elected, and then the 9/11 incident took place. Bush took advantage of the incident and led the U.S. along a path of “building walls.” The U.S. set up barriers of hatred against Islamic countries, branded them “the axis of evil,” launched war against Iraq, and meddled in the Arab world. Domestically, Bush also made all-out efforts to promote unitary conservative moral values, and suppressed multilateralism, using “war on terror” as a pretext to abuse human rights without hesitation.

The “unilateral hegemony” set up by Bush had a price. The whole world made a u-turn on its way to division and hatred. Under the cover of conservative policy, the divide between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is increasingly widening. On the contrary, intellectuals who advocate pluralism, tolerance and liberalism have been marginalized. Owing to his s identity and a stance that differs totally from that of Bush during the last eight years, Obama now stands out and has become the first non-Caucasian president of the U.S. Now Obama, an African American, has won the trust of whites by spreading his core message of “change,” tantamount to “build no more walls: instead tear them down.” Not only has the division of ethnic communities been removed, but also the wall of U.S. arrogance in the quest of seeking hegemony.

Obama’s victory has proved the failure of the Republicans.

The American voters have made a comment on Bush’s eight years in office: “We have had enough!” They hope that Obama will lead the country and even influence the world to move from a “wall-building” culture to a new environment that is more open and multilateral.

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