Not just in America

Could a Barack Obama happen anywhere else but in America?  Is it only in America that a member of a reviled ethnic group can make it to the top political post in the land?  Happens all the time
For one thing, self-made, boundary-crossing leaders generally arise in times of upheaval, when it's clear familiar ways aren't working. Were it not for the French Revolution, after all, Napoleon's "supernatural energies might [have died] away without creating their miracles,'' as Disraeli himself observed. Disraeli's own career took place in a rapidly industrializing England. Fujimori's slogan, in a time of economic chaos, was "Cambio'' or "change.'' As for the Berber, Arab, and Balkan Roman emperors, they were Latin-speaking Colin Powells—outsiders who had entered politics' elite circles via military service.
Napoleon was Corsican who spoke French with a coarse Italian accent.  Disraeli was a Jewish convert to Christianity. Fujimori held dual Japanese and Peruvian citizenship.


  1. Jews in England and Corsicans in France were not bought and sold as property less than 150 years before Disraeli and Napoleon rose to power. Also, consider this: if Obama had been born in the deep South, his parents would likely have been publically lynched for the crime of miscegenation, perhaps with the approval and cooperation of local law enforcement.

    Quite a difference, I'd say.

  2. True, African-Americans started from a much, much lower place.