Hail American spirit

HARARE - In joining people of the progressive world to congratulate Barack Obama on his re-election in the United States, Zimbabwe can draw a number of lessons from this much-anticipated poll.

While one cannot obfuscate the racial undertones and minuscule glitches in this November 6 event, the grace by which Republican candidate Mitt Romney conceded defeat, timeous in announcement the results and bilateral agreement that priority shifts to rebuilding the economy are some of the good lessons to be drawn.

Without a doubt, Obama’s win has not only evoked diverse reactions, including the avalanche of flattering messages from the unlikeliest of sources, but also of such global significance that even President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF notices.

As the Daily News reports today, party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has lauded the victory and it has to take something special — out of its Communist allies, including China and Russia — for this 49-year-old movement to pay homage or tribute to.

In this race for the White House, we have not only seen a magnanimous man, but one who is not oblivious to the fact that he owes his victory to the American people and that their vote matters in many ways that politicians cannot take for granted.

“Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference,” said Obama, adding while people pursued their individual goals the “American family will rise or fall together”.

“We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today,” the skilled orator thundered.

“Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path.”

Furthermore: “By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus, and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin,” he added.

And as Zimbabwe prepares for a watershed election next year, it is hoped that such level of maturity, bold and decisive leadership will be on display after years of intense bickering.

As Obama and Romney said, Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai must rise above the “politics of egos” and put “people first before politics”. - Staff Writer

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