Obama victory brings sigh of relief
The re-election of Barack Obama sent a discernible sigh of relief around the globe. Some were happy, not because of any great love for him, but because they believed that he was the lesser of two evils. Others, on the other hand, were happy because of who he is and what he represents.
There is much that can be said about the results of the U.S. presidential election and heading the list is the fact that this is a defeat for the right-wing admirers of Ayn Rand, the philosopher of terminal selfishness who believed altruism is not a value to waste any time over.
Put another way, this is a victory for those who believe governments have a responsibility towards the poor, the dispossessed and the infirm, as opposed to supporters of materialistic values that favor the rich and privileged to the detriment of the common people.
No doubt everyone has their favorite “Mitt Romney Gaffe” which undermined the Republican bid for the presidency. But his remarks to the effect that 47 percent of Americans see themselves as victims and would vote for Obama no matter what, must be one of the stupidest things a politician could be caught saying on camera, or off camera, at a time of economic crisis.
The Obama victory is also a victory for secular humanistic values as opposed to religious values that have no tolerance towards gays and are not keen on women’s rights, starting from the seminal question of abortion, of course.
The result of the U.S. Presidential elections also shows the world the face of an America that is multi-ethnic and multicultural at this stage, a fact that apparently is of great concern for white republicans, especially over the age of 65. All the U.S. channels commenting on the election results have been highlighting the fact that it was not just blacks but also Latinos, Asians and members of other minorities who voted in large numbers for Obama. Judging by various surveys it appears that the Turkish American vote also went to Obama.
All of this should provide serious food for thought for white conservative Americans and the Republican Party has to now sit and consider why it lost an election where the ideological stakes were so high. It seems that all the effort to tarnish Obama’s image with malignant claims that he is a “crypto-Muslim” because of his middle name, which is Hussein, or that he is a “crypto-communist” because of his healthcare reform, obviously backfired. But there is more to it. Romney’s attempt to play the Israeli card, to win not just the Jewish but also the conservative anti-Arab Republican vote with his overtures toward Israel – which many Americans obviously considered to be sycophantic – also backfired.
On the other hand, Obama’s more cautious approach toward Israel appears not to have lost him much in the end.
As for Turkey, Obama was clearly the favorite. Therefore there is no problem for Ankara in terms of his victory and the expectation among Turkish analysts is one of continuity in Turkish-U.S. ties, which have improved markedly under President Obama.
But whether the Obama victory will translate into speedy military action against the Assad regime, as the Erdogan government clearly desires, remains to be seen. This in fact appears unlikely because one of the key reasons for Obama’s popularity is that he did not embroil his country in a new and seemingly intractable military adventure abroad.
This means that the diplomacy option, as opposed to the smoking gun option that Romney appeared to be hinting at, will be up front in Obama’s second term and this is good news for the world.