Monday, March 8, 2021
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PIX: BBC.COM

I am aware that readers will wonder why a Nigerian living far away from the United States should be canvassing for the presidency of Joseph R. Biden. The burden of proof rests squarely on my shoulders. Let me state without any equivocation that I regard myself as a citizen of the world who is affected by what occurs in America, the leading democracy in the world, just like I am also affected by what occurs in Nigeria given Nigeria’s position of pre-eminence in Africa.  America influences the world while Nigeria influences Africa.  I will go ahead to quote some postulations of former United States presidents who are still highly regarded in their countries and go further to justify why Gentleman Joseph R. Biden possesses all the qualities required of an American president this age of Globalization.

In compiling this analysis, it is important to stress that the loyalty of this writer is first and foremost to God Almighty, and then the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nothing else. No other organization/organizations/personalities (local or foreign) influence our thoughts and actions. Our belief is that whoever asserts must prove. It is important we do this explanation because of possible misreading of intentions, a wrong notion that is common in our society. This writer is a complete gentleman, lover of peace, progress, and development globally, these days of a troubled world. We always act dispassionately, sincerely, with conscience, and professionally for the common good. We do not force people to adopt our position/beliefs and we always encourage our readers to embrace peace, peaceful options, and dialogue in settling issues. We dislike violence and this is always reflected in our writings. In short, we could be classified amongst sympathizers of humanity who wish the best not only for our immediate society, but also the whole world.

My position is justified by an assertion by the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Jefferson Clinton who believes that:  ”People are most likely to be affected beyond their borders, and their borders are increasingly open to both positive and negative crossings: travellers, immigrants, money, goods, services, information, communication and culture; disease, trafficking in drugs, weapons and people, and acts of terrorism and violent crime.” But the modern world is too unequal in incomes and access to jobs, health and education. It is too unstable as evidenced by the rapid spreading of the financial crisis, economic insecurity, political upheavals, and our attempts to empower people globally. Humanity still faces serious challenges which cannot be overlooked. Inequalities, political and social persist as some of the greatest problems all over the world. According to Clinton in his publication cited above, ”responding to these problems affecting the lives of people in every nation effectively presents very different challenges to poor and rich nations. ‘’Poor nations have to build systems that those of us in wealthy nations take for granted economic, financial, education, health-care, energy, environmental, government service, and other systems that make prosperity and security possible and provide predictable rewards to citizens for hard work and honest dealings.’’ Bill Clinton vacated the presidency with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War 11.

On the home front, a government headed by Joe Biden would have the responsibility for gigantic roles in guaranteeing the future of the masses through the implementation of policies, programmes and plans that deal with the welfare and security of United States citizens in a manner that would make the masses believe in government, democracy, and political governance. She Repositioning the United States to play its significant role in global politics and changing the minds of the populace from pessimism and cynicism, to that of hope is most desirable in implementing the social contract it plans to sign for the good of citizens of the Unite States.  We require a more peaceful world. Like the famous President of the United States, John F. Kennedy stated in his inaugural address, America requires a leader that could ‘’create a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak, secure and the peace preserved. ‘’All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. ‘Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. ‘’Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. ”The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.’’

FAR SIGHTED LEADERSHIP & GENDER SENSITIVITY: America requires a level-headed leader and thinker, who would be able to work with all groups that make up that great country and return it to its path of glory. America requires a gender sensitive leader who would also respect the rights of all races of the world. Joe Biden is that leader, to be ably assisted, by Kamala Harris by the grace of God. Let all voters, indeed Americans be reminded of the charge of the 35th President of the United States, JF Kennedy in his inaugural address cited above that: ‘’Now the trumpet summons us again–not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need–not as a call to battle, though embattled we are– but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”–a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. ‘’Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort? In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. ‘’I do not shrink from this responsibility–I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. ‘’The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. ‘’And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.’’

An American Theologian and author, James Freeman Clarke describes ‘’Politics as the art of attaining, retaining and deploying power, authority and responsibilities in a society. ‘’We are social animals like the apes for which hierarchy or ranking in the social scheme is essential. Even those who clamour for equality and fraternity are merely using their Utopian precepts to reach higher ranks and upper niches in the social hierarchy. ‘’The most universal measure of hierarchy is wealth, and so politics is also about wealth and its acquisition, and even more about its distribution.’’ The leader, therefore, must necessarily be forward-looking, otherwise the leadership and followership would fail. Leaders must plan and carry their subordinates along. It is for this reason that Clarke, whose work is cited above has rightly alerted that “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.” Decision-taking is, therefore, very crucial to human existence. Joe Biden is that leader who will empathize with the present generation and think about generations of Americans yet unborn in the United States.

REMEBERING HARRY S. TRUMAN: The choice of Kamala Harris, a black female politician as Vice-President of the United States by Joe Biden is strategic and gives Americans a new hope. I went through the programme put together by Nigerian-Americans Unite for JOE BIDEN/KAMALA HARRIS ticket recently where Congresswoman Karen Bass, leader of the UN Congressional Black Caucus spoke. Karen is currently in her fifth term representing the 37th Congressional District of California. She previously served as the first African-American woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker of any state legislature. It is remarkable that the United States Congressional Black Caucus honoured Nigeria’s Bashorun MKO Abiola on  September 16, 1989. That event calls to remembrance the inaugural speech of the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman on Thursday, January 20, 1949Christened: ‘’the Four Point Speech.’’  Truman stated in part: ‘’On the basis of these four major courses of action, we hope to help create the conditions that will lead eventually to personal freedom and happiness for all mankind.

  • If we are to be successful in carrying out these policies, it is clear that we must have continued prosperity in this country and we must keep ourselves strong. Slowly but surely we are weaving a world fabric of international security and growing prosperity. We are aided by all who wish to live in freedom from fear–even by those who live today in fear under their own governments. We are aided by all who want relief from the lies of propaganda– who desire truth and sincerity. We are aided by all who desire self-government and a voice in deciding their own affairs.
  • We are aided by all who long for economic security–for the security and abundance that men in free societies can enjoy. We are aided by all who desire freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to live their own lives for useful ends. Our allies are the millions who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
  • In due time, as our stability becomes manifest, as more and more nations come to know the benefits of democracy and to participate in growing abundance, I believe that those countries which now oppose us will abandon their delusions and join with the free nations of the world in a just settlement of international differences.
  • Events have brought our American democracy to new influence and new responsibilities. They will test our courage, our devotion to duty, and our concept of liberty.

MARTIN LUTHER KING – Let us remember the August 28, 1963 speech of the civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jnr.  who led the protest march on Washington DC, ‘’I HAVE A DREAM’’. He stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that very memorable day to call for an end to racism in the United States before a crowd of more than 250,000 people. King stated in part: ‘’I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’’

THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: More importantly, Martin Luther King gave a charge to the whole world in his Acceptance Speech, on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1964. The genius posited: ‘’I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when 22 million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. ”I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice. I am mindful that only yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeking to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered.’’

He continued: ‘’I am mindful that debilitating and grinding poverty afflicts my people and chains them to the lowest rung of the economic ladder. Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace …’’After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. ‘’Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. ‘’Sooner or later all the peoples of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. ‘’If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. ‘’The foundation of such a method is love.’’

James Freeman Clarke is recorded as asserting that: ‘’A politician thinks of the next election; a statement of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of his country. ‘The statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift.’’ Joe Biden is an eminent statesman, hoping to govern the United States with vast political experience that will be put to use for the benefit of not only United States but also humanity.  He has served as a United States Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009 on the platform of the Democratic Party on which he is also standing as presidential nominee for the 2020 election. In other climes, rotational clauses, written and unwritten in the constitution would have prevented Biden from serving as Senator for 26 years, even if considered an excellent choice. Biden previously served as the Chairman of the U.S Senate Judiciary Committee and Member of the Foreign Relations Committee after which he served as Vice-President of the United States under an immensely successful Barack Obama, a much younger politician.

KOFI ANNAN: America needs the world, just like the whole world needs America. Joe Biden’s is implored while putting America first in his policies to imbibe this cosmopolitan approach to governance. As the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan stated in his valedictory address at the Truman Library, ‘’President Harry S. Truman’s name will forever be associated with the memory of far-sighted American leadership in a great global endeavor. ‘’…..how much more true it is in our open world today: a world where deadly weapons can be obtained not only by rogue states but by extremist groups; a world where SARS, or avian flu, can be carried across oceans, let alone national borders, in a matter of hours; a world where failed states in the heart of Asia or Africa can become havens for terrorists; a world where even the climate is changing in ways that will affect the lives of everyone on the planet.’’ Annan continued: As President Truman said, “the responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world. ‘’He showed what can be achieved when the US assumes that responsibility. ‘’And still today, none of our global institutions can accomplish much when the US remains aloof. ‘’But when it is fully engaged, the sky’s the limit.’’

Kofi Annan’s plea in his speech cited above is apposite: You Americans did so much, in the last century, to build an effective multilateral system, with the United Nations at its heart. Do you need it less today, and does it need you less, than 60 years ago? Surely not. ‘’More than ever today Americans, like the rest of humanity, need a functioning global system through which the world’s peoples can face global challenges together. ‘’And in order to function, the system still cries out for far-sighted American leadership, in the Truman tradition. ‘’I hope and pray that the American leaders of today, and tomorrow, will provide it.’’

In conclusion, that is one of the advantages of embracing a Joe Biden presidency. November 3 is just around the corner. We look forward to having the United States back in multilateral institutions to play its vital leadership role. I llok forward to attending the January 21, 2021 United States Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies. So be it God Almighty.

God Bless the United States of America.

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