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Just in case he didn’t win...

So let’s say Barack ‘I’m-going-to-sort-out-your-post-9/11-trauma-by-my-middle-name’ Obama hasn’t turned out to be the new American President.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2008 20:58 IST

So let’s say Barack ‘I’m-going-to-sort-out-your-post-9/11-trauma-by-my-middle-name’ Obama hasn’t turned out to be the new American President. Well, apart from the rather obvious fact that John McCain is the man in the Oval Office, there are more serious repercussions that America — and by dint of the unipolar world we inhabit, everyone — will have to face.

For one there goes the notion that the US has finally exorcised the ghosts of racial discrimination. Those guys who had hoped that the Great African American Hope would, at last, come home to roost in the form of a very smart chap born in Hawaii — that should have short-circuited Sarah Palin’s ‘I’m from Alaska’ bumper sticker — to a Luo (that’s an ethnic group from Kenya) visiting scholar and a White Caucasian lady from Wichita, it’s time to go back to the Malcolm X-endorsed drawing board.

Also, it’s a blow to that great urban myth about the bright guy — referred to in Texas as ‘smarty pants’ — making it to the top. The truth is (and it’s clearly not the truth as you read this) that in happy, hegemonic America, Obama was too much of a brainy, Harvard thing. (Bill Clinton played sax, so he’s forgiven.)

As for us here shaking our heads sagely about a lost opportunity, there’s still time to rejoice that President McCain was born in Panama, then under US control, but only till 1979. Which gives us a renewed hope that K.T. Subramanian, aged 14, born and brought up in Bangor, Maine, and winner of last year’s Junior Spelling Bee, can still become a future multi-ethnic American President.

First Published: Nov 04, 2008 20:56 IST