The U.S. election is only days away and excitement is building. Jack Cafferty of CNN asked why so many people outside the U.S. seem to prefer Barack Obama for President, rather than John McCain.
Many explanations were offered in the comments section of Cafferty’s blog. One frequent theme was selfishness, i.e. that foreign nationals thought Obama would treat their countries better. That may be true in some isolated cases, but my idea is that people instinctively like Obama because of his inspirational qualities. Not only does he seem intelligent, but also thoughtful, empathic and pragmatic. Quite simply he is the kind of politician that many people would want in their own countries.
Most nations have suffered from the inept leadership of poor politicians at some point. Many politicians appear not to practice what they preach, as the baffling fate of an Austrian politician demonstrated recently. All over the World people are experiencing the threats of economic recession in addition to war and terrorism, as we have so sadly grown used to.
In that context it is especially appealing with a politician who seems to be of sound mind and heart. Obama seems to be a man who is not afraid to ask questions and seek the facts before making decisions. For that reason he has not only enthused the American voters but people in other countries who understand the importance of US leadership in the World.
Hopefully, Obama will inspire politicians everywhere to offer hope and constructive leadership to their voters. The politics of fear and discord must go and Obama seems to be the man to send it on its way.
See also The Economist.