Sunday, 25 January 2009

The 2008 American Presidential Election and President Obama

As I see it………… by L. Berney


The impression given by the media is that Obama won the 2008 Presidential election by an overwhelming majority. The official results show a very different story.
  • Of the 305 million citizens of the USA, 213 million are ‘registered voters’.
  • Of these 213 million, only 131 million cast their vote.
  • Of the 131 million voters, 69 million (52.9%) voted for Obama and 62 million (47.1%) voted for McCain and number of independent candidates.
Thus, Obama received only slightly more than 50% of the popular vote.

Moreover, of the 213 million registered voters, only 32% voted for Obama, the other 68% voted against him or did not cast a vote. Therefore, 144 million Americans (68%) now have a President they did NOT vote for!

By no means, I suggest, an ‘overwhelming majority’!


When the result was announced, and at the inaugural celebrations, there were endless scenes and stories of public euphoria. It seemed to me that most of the euphoric people we saw were black. (About 14% of the USA population is black.) The reason for their euphoria was because a black man, one of their own, had won the presidency and that the white candidate had lost. The euphoria was purely racist based.

In fact, Obama, is not ‘one of their own’. He is not a descendant of the Africans imported into the USA as slave labour in the 18th and 19th centuries. His mother was a white European and his father was a Kenyan student. Obama was born and spent his formative years in Hawaii; he was brought up by his white mother. In 1979 he moved to Los Angeles to attend Columbia University where, in 1983, he graduated with a BA. He has no connection with the black slave-descendant people of America.


The main themes of Obama’s campaign for President were CHANGE and TOGETHER, WE CAN.

These themes are nothing new. In fact, nearly all presidential candidates campaign on a promise that they will bring about changes. When in office, they find that bringing about the changes they promised is difficult or in some cases impossible. What Presidents do is largely dictated by unpredictable events and is often frustrated by opposing vested interests. (Macmillan, a UK Prime Minister, famously observed that the greatest obstacle to political achievement was ‘Events, dear boy, events’.)

After their election, new Presidents always call upon the public for national solidarity and support. For example Kennedy’s famous, "…and so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country". Obama likewise, in his inaugural address, called for the peoples’ backing and solidarity.


On the face of it, the job of being the President has many serious disadvantages.

  • Personal Danger For the next four, or perhaps eight years, Obama will live in constant fear of assassination. Four of the USA’s 43 past Presidents were assassinated and two were injured. In all, there have been 90 assassination attempts.
  • There are, in America, many thousands of citizens for whom having a black President must be absolute anathema. It will take only one who is incensed enough to ‘Kill that Nigger President'.
  • Obama is at a much greater risk than any member of the armed forces. Historically the President has a one in seven chance of being killed or injured -- the odds for a black man being President are probably shorter.
  • Being a black President of the USA, Obama has arguably the most dangerous job in the world!
  • Personal Criticism From now on, everything he does or says will be minutely scrutinized. Every opportunity will be taken by the media, the opposition Party, even by some members of his own Party to criticize him. He will be forever fighting to maintain his ‘popularity rating’.
  • Personal life It will be impossible, at best very difficult, for him or his wife or his two young daughters to enjoy a normal private life. He and his family will be hounded by the media – their every move will be photographed and made public. In addition, the President’s family, like he himself, will be at the risk of assassination attempts.
  • Personal Pressure The work schedule and pressure on him will be tremendous. Greater, no doubt, than that on the average CEO of a large corporation earning $10M a year. (The President’s salary and expense allowance is less than $600,000 a year).

If Obama was asked, "Why do you want to be the President?" his answer would probably be something like this:

I have been a life-long member of the Democratic Party and I firmly believe that our policies are absolutely right for our country -- for all classes of society, for the young, the students, for families, for the elderly. Our policies will ensure financial stability, economic growth, and homeland security for this generation and for generations to come.

I vow to strive for the good of all, and I will devote the whole of my abilities for the welfare of our people I believe I am the right person to lead the Country.

If he were to speak the truth, the real reason why he wants the job would go something like this:

Many years ago, I had to decide what career I would follow; I liked the Power and Status that professional politicians have. I joined the Democratic Party in the 1990s and fought my way up to become a US Senator in 2005.

My ambition was always to be the President of the USA. Think of it! Me, Barack Obama, the Most Powerful Person in the whole country, in the whole world!

There would be a luxury all-expenses-paid life-style for me, and for my family. At the end, there will be substantial incomes to be had from memoirs and lectures, and an appointment to the board of one or more of the major corporations I had been able to ‘help’ while I was in office -– with a large financial reward.

To get to be the President, I will do anything, say anything. I am prepared to accept the personal risk. I am prepared to impose the inevitably difficult and unnatural life-style on my wife and children.

(*As an aside, according to the Daily Telegraph, Tony Blair is earning over £1,000,000 a year from speaking engagements, and has received a £5,000,000 advance on his memoirs, and has commercial advisory appointments carrying salaries of £2,500,000 a year!)

Having regard to the real personal danger and the other onerous factors of being the President, one can only conclude that any man striving for the position has to be to a degree mentally unbalanced, not normal. His motive must be an obsession for personal POWER, STATUS and eventually WEALTH at any cost. The question must be, is such a person a fit and proper person to run the country?


Obama has publicly stated that one of his objectives is to settle, once and for all, the Israel/Palestine problem by the ‘two state solution’. In my opinion, he will fail.

The world of Islam will NEVER EVER accept the existence of a non-Islamic state (Israel) on any part of what it considers to be an integral part of Islam territory (Palestine). Islam will not give up the fight – the jihad -- until the state of Israel ceases to exist and the whole of Palestine reverts to Islamic territory.


America commenced a military occupation of Afghanistan in 2001 as a reprisal for the 9/11 attack on New York and the Pentagon.
Obama has said," …Afghanistan is a war that we have to win because al-Qaeda and the radical Islamic Taliban movement cannot be allowed to establish new havens for planning terrorist attacks...”

Winning the war and the subjugation of Afghanistan is not going to happen. The USSR tried for 10 years and failed (1979 to 1989). The British tried three times (1839, 1878 and 1919) -- they failed each time. After eight years America (and the British) are still fighting the “insurgents”, and Bin Laden is still at large. The war continues with ‘victory’ nowhere near being in sight. (World War II took ‘only’ six years to finish!)


According to the Federal Electoral Commission, the declared total amount spent on the 2008 Presidential Election was a staggering $1,601 Million.

This money was raised from individual and corporate supporters. Why do individuals and corporations give money to a political party or to a candidate? The only reason I can think of is that they hope to be rewarded with some material benefit if their candidate/party gets into power. This, surely, is an anti-democratic and is a corrupt practice.

How is this money spent? It is spent on advertising and promotion. However, it goes way beyond merely disseminating information. The admitted intention is to ‘win votes’; to persuade voters to vote for one party or candidate instead of voting for another. As I see it, this is ‘buying votes’ and is a blatant attempt to corrupt the democratic principle whereby voters should cast their votes on the merits of the case only, NOT influenced by the publicity money can buy!

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