President Obama’s impact on Kenya

Mired in corruption, ethnic warfare and inept government, Kenyans are hoping that Obama will find time from his soon-to-be busy schedule as United States President to help alleviate suffering in his ancestral country.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

However, this may not happen – at least not in the manner that most expect. And it is not only because of the cliché that Obama is first and foremost President of the American people.

Obama is likely to keep away from Kenyan politicians using the proverbial 10 foot pole. Kenyan leaders stink to high heaven what with hands washed in blood and clothes stained from the vomit of gluttonous feeding. Obama will not want to associate with a political clique that could easily cost him a second term of office.

Despite all the excitement of an Obama presidency, his detractors within the Democratic party and from the Republican side, are keenly waiting for Obama to get involved with Kenyan politicians so that they can associate him with the evils in Kenya. Obama knows this, hence his reluctance to speak out on any aspect of the ongoings in Kenya.

Kenyans have become so numbed to political theatrics that we don’t realize most of our leaders’ behaviour would be illegal elsewhere. Incitement to war, theft, grabbing of national resources and nepotism are crimes that will land you in jail many times over in the United States. Obama is well aware that the American people will never forgive him if he is linked to Kenyan scandals.

Americans will not understand how a responsible official can refuse to resign after losing billions of shillings, or after losing food meant for hungry Kenyans. Americans will not be swayed by those justifying the killings of over 1,000 Kenyans in last year’s post election violence.

This is the idealistic kind of politics that has created icons like Obama. American statehood does not strive on exploiting differences among people but seeks to create a humane, democratic and equal society. Certainly, the United States is far from achieving these ideals but every American leader attempts to take his/her people closer to this collectively visualized ideal.

Americans will not tolerate a leader who sacrifices these sacred ideals under any circumstances. This is the reason why Obama won by a landslide because Republicans were sacrificing core American values in the War on Terror that is mainly remarkable for Bush administration deceptive tricks.

As long as Kenyans retain the current breed of leaders, there is no chance of Obama engaging in constructive engagement with us. Doing so will be risking his entire life’s work.

Perhaps, Obama will increase his involvement with Kenya during his second term of office as he will not be seeking re-election. For now, though, Kenyans must find a home-grown solution to their leadership crisis.

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