Obama: A Leader with Real Class

U.S. President Obama has been in office for just under five months, yet he has already experienced a massive economic crisis as well as managed the American banking and car industry crises. With regards to foreign diplomacy, he must now confront what eight years of the Bush administration has left behind: the unfavorable state of anti-American sentiment felt by the entire world.

However, Obama has not chosen the safe route that the majority of politicians would likely follow; he quickly began to fulfill his campaign promises. On his recent trip to Egypt, he delivered a very important speech at Cairo University. In his speech, Obama drew on his own background in order to bring people closer to Islamic culture. He in no way evaded the topic and honestly confronted the seven big issues that have led the U.S. and the Islamic world to intense conflict.

Among these seven big issues, the question of Israel is first among those that are most difficult to handle. Obama refrained from employing the appropriate language of foreign diplomacy and advocating a meaningless message of peace. He clearly opposed Israel’s territorial expansion, calling for a resolution on the human rights infringements occurring in the Gaza Strip. He also supported Palestine’s right to build its own nation, pledging this to be part of the principles and objectives of U.S. foreign policy. He concluded his speech by citing content from the scriptures of the three major religions, causing everyone to leap to their feet for a standing ovation.

Of course, if we only relied on a speech, the problems in the Middle East would not get resolved. However, a speech provides the support to help dissolve decades of accumulated hostility, allowing the U.S. to regain its foothold in the area of foreign diplomacy towards the Islamic world. This is an astonishing achievement just in itself. This kind of achievement has been secured through Obama’s exceptional skills of communication and, more importantly, thanks to his gutsy and broad-minded high grade politics.

Some people may say that Obama is merely eloquent and a brilliant public speaker. However, he is willing to speak honestly, never looking for a quick fix or a way to avoid points of conflict. He clearly says what needs to be said. Moreover, he comes across as open-minded, appreciative of the merits of other ethnicities and cultures, and is compassionate in his understanding of the standpoint of other ethnicities and cultures. With an attitude such as this, one can really overcome obstacles and gain the confidence of others, even to the point of dissolving old grievances.

Every industry leader can learn a lot from Obama, President Ma Yingjiu (of Taiwan) included. In the past few days, the “high class” of President Ma has given rise to much discussion. His statement about the Tiananmen Massacre was overcautious and unimaginative. People were not able to sense that it came from the profundity of his heart. Not only did he not move people, but he made people doubt his sincerity. Rather than speak about this historical incident in such superficial terms, it would have been better to not say anything at all.

To be the leader of a new generation, one must have a high degree of humanity, a high degree of democracy, and a high degree of history in order to lead society to better itself. In comparison to Obama’s achievements in these three areas as demonstrated by his speech in Cairo, President Ma still has a lot of space for improvement!

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