The election of Barack Obama has many far-reaching and historic implications that go far beyond the borders of the United States. I am personally delighted not simply because Mr. Obama has one Kenyan parent and is a real African American but more so because of his many personal talents and breadth of knowledge as an exceptional human being. I believe Mr. Obama exhibits many of the best characteristics of our species in terms of intelligence, sensitivity, resolve and a willingness to reason.
While I am well aware of the many domestic issues that face the U.S., the future of the planet and its inhabitants is a greater concern for me. We all need an American leader who is not inward-looking and leading a self-interested superpower. The challenges we now face are less military and are far more daunting. Climate change and its global effects have to be as important for the U.S. and the world as anything else I can think of. The impact of the growing human population, in terms of resources and equity, on global underdevelopment, diseases and the shortages of water (and energy) are frankly terrifying. Solutions will require inspired leadership. We all require a President who will remain calm, focused and hopeful.
Well done, America; your democracy has delivered.
By Richard Leakey