Verdict of the Week

Barack Obama

The election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States has brought widespread joy and optimism throughout America and indeed to much of the rest of world, especially to many third world and black African countries who have hailed his coming in almost Biblical terms.

Many of these communities see his election as the realisation of Martin Luther King's long held dream come to life. The job of eCourt though, is to view all the facts and deliver an unbiased verdict.

The fact is, though, that American is more segregated now than it was when Martin Luther King was alive. Ironically, you need look no further than Washington DC to find whole sections of the suburbs are virtual no go areas for white people, and vice-versa in other parts of town for coloured people. It is just the way it has come to be, most Cities evolve along these lines, with different communities springing up in different areas of town. The only difference now is that there are no laws on segregation, but it still happens.

As to Obama, the man himself, the facts remain distinctly murky, he has had some strange associates in the past and these have been cleverly buried by the powerful electioneering machine of the Democrats and some brilliant marketing. Much like Tony Blair's early campaign years, the Democrats realised that it is not the truth that counts but the perception of the truth.

His powers of speech are riveting and he can draw large crowds when he speaks and many of them will be in tears by the time he has finished. They are rousing and inspirational, even if they are a little cliché ridden.

The eCourt Verdict then is that this is a truly extraordinary event in American political history, indeed world history. His speeches have inspired belief and given a sense of hope back to millions of people around the world at a time of desperate financial turmoil. He told them what they needed to hear, what they wanted to hear, and at a time they needed to hear it. Hope and belief are both admirable qualities, but let us not mistake them for facts and achievement.

Martin Luther King's big dream was that all men should be judged by the content of their character. If America has done that, then it should stand proud. But Martin Luther also warned that “n othing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance” and that, “a nation that continues to produce soft-minded men, purchases its own spiritual death on the instalment plan.”

Good luck Obama, let us trust that those tender leaves of hope, blossom and bear much fruit upon the world.


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