the obama advantage | Teen Ink

the obama advantage

January 13, 2009
By Anonymous

Throughout the history of America, blacks have been enslaved, withheld from voting, and scared away from running for political office. Since the end of the Civil War, blacks slowly received their freedom back. Still today, being a black American is not thought of as an advantage; however, the article, “The Obama Advantage,” will change your opinion.
Anne Applebaum, author of “The Obama Advantage,” wrote Obama had an advantage being black in the Democratic primaries. She thought this because Obama “distinguished himself from the Bushes, Clintons, and other dynastic families that have an inexorable grip on American politics.” Obama’s skin color ensured he was not related or married to any former president.

Being black made a difference in the national election. American citizens are brought up believing America is the best nation in the world, a true “city on a hill.” Lately, our image of all-powerful America has been declining; we are fighting two wars without success, we just had a huge economic crash, we are about to enter a recession, and we are unloved around the world. Applebaum contemplated the image of America, and realized people want to see an anti status-quo figure in the Oval Office. Thus, Obama had an advantage by being black.
After reading the headline underneath the article, doubt arose; how could being black be an advantage? For years, blacks have been ostracized from politics Until a week ago, African Americans had no relation to the presidency. Being black has never been an advantage throughout the course of history.
After reading the article, I felt like a shell-shocked soldier. People believe Obama is more like the average citizen than McCain. This is because Obama came from the middle class and is not flashy like the war hero McCain. Obama actually won for reasons most people did not think about. As Applebaum points out, being black was an advantage; it symbolized change. Things are not going well for America right now. We are not liked around the world. We are about to enter a recession. We are fighting an unsuccessful war. Americans needed change. Obama gave hope.
Obama is better for the spirit of America. It is doubtful Obama will make the correct decisions to lead our country because he is inexperienced. However, he has and will continue to provide a new, uplifting spirit to Americans.
Being black was once a derogatory term. With the current state of the union, it can be an advantage. Blacks can begin to do one thing: hope. All Americans can live the American Dream; they can become whatever they want no matter their race.

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