Perspective: The hemorrhaging must stop now!‏

By: C.A. Johnson

MIAMI – As a product of democracy, I wonder if I should be bemused or frustrated by the sudden vitriol against current Democratic Presidential Nominee, Senator Barak Obama even at this stage of the pre-national Presidential Campaign season. Delegates attending the Democratic Convention in Denver haven’t heard the Senator’s speech in his bid to become the country’s 44th President, and yet there are wild prevarications, assumptions and preconceptions about one of the world’s gifted Western political leaders.

The records attest that Senator Obama did remarkably well in the recently-concluded Primaries which gave him not only a credible vote, but an affirmative base to progress with constructive politics as well as an inclusive economic and social unification agenda. His phenomenal effect on young people, `once-turned off’ voters, along with mass support from continents and regions around the world, are now legendary and inspirational, especially in a media-driven environment that extols divisiveness under the pretext of public service broadcasting or `media freedom’. I know only too well about this phenomenon, having being part of the media apparatus in a `former life’.

In spite of his human-centred approach to politics and passionate appeal for a `better deal’ for all Americans and by extension, the world, many are still questioning the Senator’s political durability (including his foreign affairs credentials), his economic proficiency, let along his Presidential candidacy. The deliberate ploy to use Senator Hilary Clinton’s defeat in the Primaries to smear her friend and colleague is immature and politically vindictive. After all politics, is about character and the issues presented before the electorate. It is not wise or even clever for media pundits to invoke prejudice and fear into an electorate especially young people who need to be properly informed and educated about the real purpose of politics and their systems of governance. They are the ones who tend to suffer from the media’s reluctance to be fair, honest and professional.

Many world citizens and I grew up in colonial and imperial political environments, but we also experienced Political Independence and witnessed both the Cold War and variations/vagaries of free market democracy in the East, West and parts of the South. We were participants – civic and professional – in the North-South Dialogue (to alleviate poverty and create a world of parity, equivalence and equality). Yet media speculators in the 21st century seem bent on undermining the already fractious democratic process by poisoning the very system that give birth to Western democratic ideals (of freedom, moral and spiritual compassion for all).

The speakers who showed the courage in the face of acrimonious criticisms to endorse Senator Obama’s Presidential candidacy including his selection of his VP (running mate), should be commended. It will be most instructive to learn about the senator’s programmatic platform for the Presidential Campaign, since our study group has recognised its intrinsic value to the American people. It is rather mind-boggling that sections of the Western media find it plausible and expedient to vilify Senator Obama’s candidacy without offering a recourse (that is, his Convention speech). It has been suggested by protagonists, that if the Senator was of from a different background, including intelligence, maturity and integrity, he may not have been subjected to the torrent of character pillaging and senseless ideological demagoguery. The hope is that the Senator Obama’s Convention Speech will end speculation and doubt about his programme of reform. As far as we – Progressives – are concerned, the time has come for Change and the renewal of the Peace and Stability Dividend that the world has been longing for, since the beginning of this century. The old dogma must not be allowed to haemorrhage again.

C.A. Johnson



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