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Gitell on Obama's win

Writing for the New York Post, former Phoenix reporter Seth Gitell does an excellent job analyzing the implications of Barack Obama's big win from a politico-racial perspective. There are several sharp insights in the piece, but one in particular--involving how Obama's victory affects our standing in the world--struck me as especially significant:

During the Cold War, hawkish Democrats, such as John Kennedy, supported civil rights as a tool in the battle against the Soviet Union. They knew that America's foreign foes would exploit the propaganda value of a segregated America.
 
Obama's election turns that thinking around. His unique ethnic background is no cure-all, but it does send a powerful message to the world that America is still the home of opportunity and hope. The United States has become the first advanced Western nation to be led by a person of color.
 
Unlike France (where immigrants remain sequestered unhappily in suburban housing projects) or Germany (where legal immigrants face numerous hurdles in becoming citizens), in America, a son of a Kenyan immigrant can become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world.
 
Barack Obama's election shows that we are powerful not just because of our military might, but because of the strength of our ideals.
Perhaps, over the passage of time, this last point will provide some solace to those conservatives (i.e., not the Buchananites) who believe the U.S. has a special role to play in the world, and can stomach the idea of Obama leading that effort. But it may take a while

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