The following assignment will be looking at the significance of the historic election of November 2008 in the United States which brought Barack Obama to power as the 44th US president. Since the establishment of the modern United States 2 centuries ago, elections were taking place at every four years; presidents were getting elected; others were loosing and election results were always bringing fresh people to power. But the 2008 election was undoubtedly different by all means and at every measure.
This election has brought a biracial (black African) man to the presidency for the first time ever in the American history and broke the political racial taboo. Based on this reality as well as other major reasons, commentators, political annalists, historians and scholars collectively considered it as a historic election and will filed in the nations history archives as a political tsunami which struck the entire American system and created a new landscape.
This assignment will focus three significant events associated with Obama’s election, IE, the racial aspect, the campaigning and funding techniques used by the Obama camp and lastly, not the least, the religious angle concerning this issue. There were several exceptional characteristics to the Obama’s election of 2008. The most important aspect was the fact that it has brought to power to an American African president for the first time ever, two sitting senators to run for presidency and the highest turnout in the last forty years.
In late 2006 when Obama showed interest for running presidency everyone was almost certain that the US democracy did not evolve enough to give prospect and equal opportunity to every American citizen including those with black background and women. Mainly because of the American foreign and domestic policies failure under the Bush administration, Democratic Party appeared to be gaining an easy victory over the Republicans.
Despite all opportunities, lots of people were concerned that the Republican Party may remain in power due to the fact that the front running nominees for the Democratic Party were woman and black man and neither of them, according to some people, was unlikely to convince voters to disregard gender or colour for the first time in their history. However, despite strong concerns questioning the maturity of the American democracy, election results has made a decisive answer and showed voters readiness for change and their response to Obama’s slogan for his election campaign ‘Yes we can’.
Baring in mine of the racial concerns, Obama has deliberately addressed those still may not easily ingest what had happened. At his victory speech, Obama stated that, “If there is anyone out there, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. ” (David Usborne November 2008). All this changes are happening in a country where just fifty years ago, Obama would fine difficult to be served in a restaurant or to choose his desired place in a public transport as an ordinary citizen let alone of becoming statesman.
It was just 1963 when The famous American Civil Rights movement leader, Dr King has delivered his famous speech (I have a dream), and the 2008 elections were a true realisation of Dr Kings dream according to Andy McFarlane of the BBC (Nov, 2008). On the other hand, another amazing significance of the 2008 election was the turnout records and the fund racing techniques used by the Obama camp. The Democratic Party has managed to take the most secure and traditional Republican States including Indiana and Virginia, as well as other vital States for every winning president like Florida and Ohio.
This huge swing in the voting norms has given Obama majority of 349 votes in the Electoral Collage against 162 for Mr McCain, a landslide victory. (David Usborne, November 2008). The turnout record of this election throughout the country was also another significant factor and all records showed that the turnout score was set to break records and become the highest in the past forty years. Other significant aspect of the 2008 presidential contest, from the turnout angle, was the unprecedented turnout of black community and youngsters.
Black Africans came out overwhelmingly and at most areas, the record was on or around 90% mainly due to the fact of having black candidate on the ballot ticket for the first time in history. Whereas youths turnout set a modern record as Washington Post quoted from Peter Levine of Tufts University. The highest likely increase amongst youngsters was from 17% to 18%; while the recorded young voters has reached 66% increase to Obama and 32% to his rival republican runner. (Valerie Richardson, November 2008) Another impressive feature of the 2008 election was the way in which Obama has managed to fund his long-lasted and costly campaign.
His team succeeded to accomplish generous donations from every sector of the American citizens. Using all modern technology IE, Internet, text messages and mobile phones, and accepting as little as Dollar tens and twenties, the Obama team has sometimes raced a million and half just a matter of hours, and overall, the Obama funding was three times higher than his Republican counterpart. This has gave Obama a confidence to reject the state funding while his rival runner was forced to get hand from the text payers direct money.
On top of all those aforementioned, the 2008 election have also had a spiritual significance. As Dr. Smith argued, “The reproach is lifted” and new chapter has began for the black Americans, (February 2008). As mentioned in one of the Bibles (Genesis 9: 24-29) there are some rooted beliefs suggesting that the black race is said to be cursed and their destiny is determined to be servants and do the hard bit of everything throughout their live in the past and indeed to the present day.
Dr Smith argues that this election has proved all these wrong and people only misinterpreted religious guidance to justify their arrogance. Even if Obama do not win the 2008 election, the notion of setting a precedent and being mottle inspiring black people and underprivileged races has already achieved. In the concluding remarks of this tremendously vital and historic issue, few points got to be highlighted. In general, American elections are not merely domestic US issue.
Its results always extend to the wider world and therefore international community, regardless of their geographical location, religious belief or political philosophy take a deep breath and anticipate its results. With every meaning of the word, the 2008 elections has been, without argument, more than just choosing one man rather than the other. Americans were given a tough choice either to make a real change, not politically only, but socially and historically.
They decided to reconcile with their past, prepare for their future and show their determination that they really want a change and justice. Having a black president in the White House for the first time ever was not easy, and has made people in and outside the US to shed tears and find difficult to swallow the dramatic events of having Obama declaring his interest to run, winning primaries over Hillary and the overwhelming majority voted for him throughout the States regardless of their colour or social background.
Although President Barak Obama is facing a tough challenges at all fronts, and people have great expectations on him, and there are some concerns he might not be able to fulfil all his promises, the 2008 elections which brought Obama to power will remain in our minds and in the history books, extremely significant and historic event by all means even if President Obama fails to fulfil most of his pledges.
All in all, Obama’s election and the day of his presidency has been a long time coming, and how long this process had taken would definitely depend on where and which stop someone would count from starting from America’s 1776 independence date to the 2008 Obama election. But without a shadow of a doubt, the 2008 election has changed America and so much history has changed just one night.