Here in Iceland interest in the American Presidential Election is considerable. As one of the world’s leading nations, we look to America for our future. America’s government not only affects America, but is also of great consequence to the rest of the world. Around 800 people gathered at the Hilton Reykjavík Nordica to watch the election results coverage at the invitation of the Embassy of the United States. Given our great concern with the election, which lessons can we as non-Americans draw from this event?
Most importantly, the results of the presidential election in the United States show us one thing: The Old White Wealthy Males no longer call the shots in the world. By re-electing President Obama, Americans have only affirmed this. As President of the United States, Obama is a symbol of unity, not just for America, but for the whole world to see. He is a symbol of hope for the future, a change in the world—a future of acceptance and cooperation among mankind. He is not the President of a select group of people; he is a president for all—black or white, rich or poor—a president for everyone and anyone.
Uniformity holds us back, while diversity ensures progress for all. This election has again shown the power of a diverse group of people gathering behind one man with one message. Obama’s message of hope and change for a better world, free of prejudice and injustice, but full of acceptance and opportunities, is in the common interest of mankind. A diverse group of people have overcome the select few; the days of the Patriarchy are numbered, its influence dwindling. As the few lose their footing and the power slips through their fingers, the many continue to gain a foothold in the world. For that reason, we must learn from their mistakes of exclusion and strive for a better world by accepting our differences, by accepting ourselves.
As this election proves, minorities are the new majority. The minority does not seek success at the expense of another, but for itself and for society. Our society is built by minorities. Everyone plays a part in the works of the world. We are all equal. When people of all sorts come together they are stronger than any uniform body of people could ever be. Division is a thing of the past; to embrace the future, we must embrace each other, only then can we move forward.
As we face the coming elections here in Iceland, we might take this realisation to heart: We will accomplish more if we work together than we ever could by constantly opposing each other. We have to stop dwelling on our differences and focus instead on what we can do together for the future. Equality means growth; equality is our future. Therefore, Obama’s key word applies not only in America, but all over the world. Now is the time we must move forward!
Hólmar Hólm is a 22 year-old student of Latin and Ancient Greek at the University of Iceland.
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