(History News Network, George Mason University, Virginia, November 8, 2008 )
With the victory of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, America has undergone a revolution. I say this not only for its symbolism, undeniable though it is. The entry of a black man into the White House is a powerful symbol – something that has taken nearly two-and-a-half centuries since the American revolution of 1776 and almost a-hundred-and-fifty years since slavery was abolished under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Progress of this magnitude is the end result of a monumental struggle, often by people whose names will not receive the limelight they deserve.
A revolution must go beyond such boundaries. It must be a wider response to critical problems in society, an acknowledgement by the masses that things have got to change, or there will be a greater calamity. Above all, a revolution is not a coup d’état which involves seizure of power by a small group of people. It is a wider phenomenon that happens when the time has come. The 2008 election in America reflects all of this and much more. The last eight years of the presidency of George W Bush illustrate what damage can be done when the world’s most powerful nation goes rogue, squandering its capacity to do good. More