Monday, April 30, 2012

Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama

Elena made a profound comment over the weekend as follows: "Barack Obama is the Nelson Mandela of the United States." I thought it over a long time. I soon realized that she had a point. Nelson Mandela was the first African president of South Africa. Barack Obama is the first African-American president of the United States. He has strong roots going back to Africa.

Both Mandela and Obama came to power appearing to be leftist. They both moved to the center and governed as centrists and moderates. Both men came to office in a time of great economic trouble and uncertainty. Each faced very high unemployment and the real possibility of an economic depression. They did not perform miracles and solve all of the economic problems. Not every unemployed person got a job. But their calm and steady influence stabalized bad situations and laid the ground work for a recovery. They also gave people some sense of confidence and hope for the future.

The electorate in either country would say the same things about either man:

"I might not always agree with his policies but I like and respect him. He's always been an honest man free of corruption."

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