‘This nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous’.
A very striking statement in line with his platform of ‘Change’ & ‘Hope’, words to kick start the liberal revolution we'd been waiting for, Obama was riding out with the battle flag of Hope, he was stepping up to his task of changing America and I really believed he would deliver on his promises over night.
Now I often wonder if it is this one line which has created such a backlash for Hillary’s prospects in the election, because when the lovable Democrat promised change but failed to deliver the sort of Hollywood progress envisaged, a disaffected American electorate deserted politics as a whole and Hillary Clinton got thrown out with the dishwater.
Now America has rejected Obama’s brand of ‘Change’ and ‘Hope’, but as we all know Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Funnily what Obama said next in that speech has also stuck with me, although I’ll admit I might have misinterpreted him slightly, but what I heard was the President of America speaking about global peace and trade deals to help its partners prosper along with the great USA.
I might have misheard him because it is one of my fundamental beliefs that if you prop up weaker economies in neighbouring countries which you can trade with, then you are ultimately creating markets for the products you export and your economy will grow stronger in the near future. This thought of investing in markets is so ingrained in my view of global equality that I consider it a fundamental responsibility of larger economies to support those countries with a desire to prosper and strengthen the principles of democracy in their country. This is part of the reason that I was so outraged at the Brexit campaigns stand alone approach, that a country with a responsibility for global stability would so willingly abandon the European project and cease to support developing economies in the European market.
What Obama actually said was:
'The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity, on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.’
Why this stuck with me for so long is that it reminds me of the fact that one of the cornerstones behind the longevity of the Roman Empire was by in large their ability to trade, and the desire of cities with trading posts to become more Roman in order to flourish.
Symbols like McDonalds, Coca-Cola, & iPhones are all US products which dominate the global market nowadays, they are synonymous with America to the extent that the American brand of life is something that is desired & sought out, not just in Europe but also in far reaching countries with different philosophical and political agendas such as Russia, China, and Iran. These symbols don’t just represent the brands or the products, the represent America and democracy, human rights and equality. We can’t protect the common good by protecting our own interests, only through trade can we inspire equality in every willing heart.
Why this is important is that there is only one day left to vote, to vote between a career politician who wants to build on the legacy Obama has gifted America, or a self contained businessman who wants to set up enough trade restrictions to make the USA look like an economic Aleppo.
Closing borders, building walls, applying unreasonable tariffs are not ways to reach willing hearts, they all sound like measures you would take to stop a country like say, Cuba from possessing Nuclear weapons. Except it’s not 1962, it’s 2016 and one of the above candidates is more dangerous to world peace than a Castro allied Nikita Khrushchev barn-dance.
One of the above candidates is an open misogynist by the name Donald Trump, the other is a defender of the Common Good by the name Hillary Clinton.
America, please make the right choice.