With a Grain of Salt: The way things are in the US

Daily News Egypt
6 Min Read

Hillary Clinton, who, not so long ago, was Barack Obama’s arch-enemy, has started to display a lot of goodwill towards him. In fact, she’s even enthusiastically trying to persuade her supporters to give him their voice in the coming presidential race against the Republican candidate John McCain.

I was impressed with the sort of party loyalty which has a candidate reverse his/her sentiments towards their political rivals overnight. But a cunning friend told me: “It’s not as simple as it seems; there are other considerations known only to those who understand the way things are in the US.

I pretended to be completely ignorant of the way things are in the US and asked him: “And what exactly are these considerations?

“The situation in the US indicates that Americans are not yet ready to accept having a black man in the White House, he said.

“But it seems to me that they are preparing themselves for such a possibility whether they like it or not. During my last visit to New York two weeks ago some people were cracking jokes about it. A friend even told me said that it seems that in 2009, the world will be run from the Black House.

The man frowned, saying: “Since you’ve been to the US recently and since you have American friends who explain to you the way things are over there, then you must have realized that even if Americans accept having a colored president, they won’t accept him for very long.

“A US presidential term lasts four years after which he can be reelected for another four-year term. So do you mean that if Obama is elected for a first term, he won’t be elected for a second one? I asked.

“What I meant was that they won’t even allow him to complete his first term, he replied calmly.

“It seems to me that Obama is a man of principle and will not do anything that could lead to his impeachment, I said.

“What about Kennedy?

“What do you mean?

“I mean that when Americans are not happy with something, they deal with it the “cowboy way, that is, with a gun, he said.

“Obama represents progress in the way things are in the US because his success in securing the nomination for presidential candidate, he symbolizes the fact that Americans have finally shed their racism against blacks and colored people, I said.

“Things have certainly changed since in that respect, but this still doesn’t mean that Americans are ready to accept a black man in the White House; this is still too much ahead of them, exactly the way Kennedy’s policies were ahead of them. And just as they got rid of Kennedy, they will get rid of Obama within a year, probably in the exact same way.

“I did watch interviews with some Americans on TV who said that they were not ready for a black president. There will always be people who won’t accept it this year and in a hundred years just as there will always be those who will never accept having a woman as president, yet Hillary was still certain she was going to win, I said.

With a smirk denoting that he alone has the inside story, he said: “Hillary knows the way things are in the US and is trying to be nominated for the position of Obama’s vice president because she knows that within one year, she will become president.

“How wicked of you to think that! I said.

“If you don’t believe me, just go back to her speeches when she was still competing with Obama and warned him from sharing Robert Kennedy’s fate, who was murdered before completing his campaign. Doesn’t that mean that she knows the fate that awaits Obama? You even said that Hillary herself knows that there are those who will not accept a woman for president, so this could be her only chance.

“If your theory is correct, then it means that she too may not last long in office because those who you claim will want to assassinate Obama, would probably want to assassinate her as well. And wouldn’t it be great if they stretched their activities to include the assassination of all those who think like you about the way things are in the US.

“You wait and see, he said

Mohamed Salmawy is President of the Arab Writers’ Union and Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram Hebdo.

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