“Hope – Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.” – Barack Obama.
About two years ago, Martha Karua made no secret of her presidential ambitions and after wilfully resigning from Kibaki’s Cabinet, she has been hard at work campaigning and drumming up support for her bid.
About two weeks ago, Raphael Tuju resigned from his cushy job as Special Advisor to the President and declared that he is offering his candidature for President of Kenya in 2012.
These two are among the growing number of Presidential hopefuls seeking to challenge the two descendants from the two big political dynasties Kenyatta and Odinga, along with the rest of the candidates vying for CEO, Kenya 2012.
As far as political campaigns go, I’m sure that the hopefuls are hoping their new faces and fresh ideas trigger an Obama effect that will inspire wide-scale, cross-boundary support from the electorate. Although Kibaki is certainly no Bush, presidential aspirants will target the failings of his two-term administration and hope to sell themselves as the Change Agent that the voters and the country seek. They will promise to slay the twin-headed dragon that is corruption and impunity, they will have you convinced that once they’re elected the economy will be revitalised, jobs will be created and basic services will be improved for all Kenyans.
That said, the Obama effect as we know it, is unlikely to work here in Kenya.
“When thousands of peoples is riled up to see you
That can arouse ya ego, we got mouths to feed so
Gotta stay true to who you are and where you came from
Coz at the top will be the same place you hang from
No matter how big you can ever be
For whatever fee or publicity, never lose your integrity”
– Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (aka ‘Nas’)
Long hours on the campaign trail, packed and charged rallies, meetings with campaign donors, countless election strategies and counter strategies all culminating in the announcement of the win and the swearing in ceremony. It’s all usually glamorous and inspiring to most people looking in from the outside. Although the campaign period is extremely stressful and draining on the candidate the really hard work begins once that candidate is sworn into office.
Just ask Barack Obama. After his ‘landslide’ win he embarked on achieving some of his campaign promises and he was successful in some most notably healthcare and Wall street reform. However, there is the big issue that has dominated news in the States these last 6 months (not Osama) have been the budget deficit. Make no mistake, the U.S debt is a serious global issue. While the risk of the U.S defaulting on its debt may be a bit farfetched, given the close linked global economy, it is crucial that they sort out their debt issue. As most economists will confirm the two ways to cut a deficit are either reduce spending or increase taxes. However, both options are politically risky for any American president. (There’s also the increased tax receipts/collections option as a result of economic growth but this is more long term in most cases and highly dependent on economic growth).
This morning, a jubilant chorus of relieved sighs and ‘Hell yeah! America rocks!’ must be sweeping across Obamaland.
Last night, Osama was finally sent to his grave. That’s right, the Obama boys over in Pakistan bombed Osama and his boys and, this time, they didn’t miss.
While we could go on and on about the conspiracy behind previously debated facts and speculate on whether or not the man cum symbol really died yesternight, I think what’s most important to note is that the U.S. government that created this mythological terror has acknowledged his demise. Strangely, I feel this will change little or nothing in our furiously polarized psyches.
My bet is that Muslims will still get the backhanded treatment they’ve been getting. Arab nations will still feel the pressure of the heel of American army boots on their necks. Terrorism will still be a tool used to control the masses. And perhaps the saddest outcome of all this – or lack thereof, really – is that the facts will still not matter. People will still go about their lives presumptively prejudiced and programmed when all the answers are a Google search away.
Anyway, Osama did commit a lot of heinous atrocities and was a symbol of all things negative. Obama is not wrong in stating that ‘Justice has been done.‘
The world however better brace itself for a rocky aftermath and not begin to think sh*t just got better. Alas, there is a shockwave of potential retaliations and so many other things to be scared about so don’t come out of your basement bunker rejoicing just yet.
“There’s a war goin’ on outside no man is safe from.” – Albert Johnson
This delayed edition of the SoapBox is brought to you courtesy of KRA: Where getting your Pin number online has to be done over the phone. Or in person.
I wasn’t going to write this until some happy-go-lucky randomer ran up on me at Yaya Center as I was perusing the newspaper and said: “Have you heard about Obama passing the Health Reform Bill? How dope is that?”