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Last night saw the start of demise of the Democratic Party in its present incarnation. Rather than evolve into a party of the 21st century with its future assured by the thousands of young people who had gravitated towards it, the party faces the prospect of being  mired in the politics of yesteryear and facing a slow but steady death. That is, unless the leaders take some action.

There is another issue at stake:  the international standing of the US which is presently is at its lowest.  Why did Democrats Abroad vote in overwhelming numbers for Obama if Clinton is perceived as the person with the foreign policy experience? To those who dismiss international opinion as being of no relevance,  In a globalised world, international perception matters, and matters a lot.

With his usual gravitas and grace after losing, Obama said in his speech in San Antonio"The world is watching what we do here. The world is paying attention to how we conduct ourselves.  What will we they see?  What will we tell them?  What will we show them?"

In 1960,  I was a 9 year old, watching the debate between Nixon and Kennedy. And I was electrified or to use the current coinage, "fired up" by Kennedy.  That passion led me to  many parts of the world including being an anti-apartheid activist and working in South Africa in the post-apartheid years.

In all my years in diverse places such  as Samoa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK, I have never witnessed what I have in the past few months: name recognition of a candidate by the young.  As I stood on a street corner handing out Obama brochures, school kids begged for Obama stickers. I heard a four year old  say slowly "Obama" as he toddled past with his father. I thought I had heard wrong. But not so. In various forms, it is resounding worldover where "Obama" is the premier political brand name. It is easy to dismiss this phenomenon as a cult following with no depth. But in so doing, we run the risk of losing not only the future of the Democratic Party, but also the leadership of a global movement that is truly a movement of this millennium.

Originally posted to Jupiter Wilson on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:46 AM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  I could not agree with you more. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Tip jar?

    We can change the world. Let's start with America. Obama for America '08

    by Blogvirgin on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:48:57 AM PST

  •  Very Much what i was thinking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as i was reflecting on what a Clinton win would mean -- in terms of the continuation of the Opposition as Enemy type of politics which is what the US political landscape has become

    most other CIVILIZED nations opposition party's are ... just that -- LOYAL OPPOSITION ... and that is reflected in much of the political rhetoric throughout most western democracies

    Here though -- politics has become a blood sport that sees the opposition as the enemy

    i have seen glimmers of hope that might change through an Obama administration, but i can almost guarantee the opposition as enemy narrative will continue with a McCain or Clinton administration

  •  It's His Campaign, He's Chosen to Run it This Way (0+ / 0-)

    and keep AWOL from the media contest field for two weeks.

    He's completely lost his national lead and Clinton is ascending in a number of areas.

    It may be our dream but it's his campaign. There are some things we cannot do for ourselves.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:06:52 AM PST

  •  Eh... (0+ / 0-)

    I also watched the Nixon-Kennedy debate at age 9. I also have traveled outside the US. In 1969, I was surprised to find that Eugene McCarthy's name was almost as widely known in Europe as in the US, by young and old alike.

    I don't deny the broad nature of the Obama phenomenon, but there have always been young people everywhere who were politically aware. And there have always been young people who were not. I think it depends as much on which young people you are talking to as the candidate you are talking about.

    My question is not how many young people are aware of Obama, but why they are aware of him.  The fact that almost every kid on the planet is aware of the Nike brand doesn't make me want to elect a pair of gym shoes to the White House.

    Sometimes I think it's a sin, when I feel like I'm winning when I'm losing again.
    -Gordon Lightfoot, 'Sundown'

    by Free Spirit on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:08:40 AM PST

    •  that is a simplistic dismissal----I don't think (0+ / 0-)

      you understood the diarist's point.  There is a whole world out there watching and waiting and hoping for Obama.  Many of the headlines and stories have been reproduced here.  I think it's important and historic and should be considered----this stirring of hope for change in so many---here and around the world.
       And the mention of the child reminds me of my little 6 yr. old granddaughter who has a cornrow braid in her blond hair which she calls her "Obama braid". (cute story which I won't bore with the details)

      •  There is a whole world out there... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...watching and waiting for George Bush and Dick Cheney to leave office.

        Like the rest of us, many of them, young and old, have their preference as to who comes in next. Like the rest of us, they vary widely in how well informed they are and in the reasons for their preference.

        I don't dismiss the strength or breadth of the phenomenon, but I don't find it to be a compelling reason to vote for him.

        Sometimes I think it's a sin, when I feel like I'm winning when I'm losing again.
        -Gordon Lightfoot, 'Sundown'

        by Free Spirit on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 12:25:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary; no 's' in "quoi" n/t (0+ / 0-)

    If Obama's ahead and superdelegates give it to Clinton I'm voting for McCain--Geekesque

    by dconrad on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:10:29 PM PST

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