Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama President!

Ah, I can't stay up late tonight, so I thought I would end the suspense and just call this election early.

My thoughts, at this historic moment? Thanks for not asking, I'll tell you anyhow.

Obama was a strong candidate who had quite a bit of good fortune in running after an extremely unpopular Republican administration; and it was the financial crisis that gave him a landslide victory.

The big picture is that Obama inherits leadership of a nation with grave problems, and he will need another few servings of luck to go with his talent if he's going to make a big difference in setting things right.

The small picture is, today is a good day for race relations.

Thank goodness that after today I will never have to listen to another European lecture me on how incurably racist America is.

Of course it is _ and so is every European country, especially the Netherlands. America is several decades ahead in coming to terms with that problem. Call it our 'original sin'.

What a transformation the U.S. has undergone since WWII. Still, if Obama hadn't come along now, it might have been another 50 years (who knows) before a black person were elected.

But now that he has come, it's inevitably going to be a watershed: after this, anything is possible.

So, congratulations and good luck to you Obama. I give you one day for a media honeymoon, and then it's time to get cynical. You are a politician after all.


Condolences to John McCain. I wish I knew what the world would look like now if you had won the Republican nomination back in 2000, when you coulda woulda maybe shoulda.



has been deleted said...

good call.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Obama's the messiah, but he is a sign of changing times. I know people are skeptical about whether he'll be able to fulfill his promises... But look at what he's already done.

The last 8 years have seen an administration wrap itself in the flag while systematically destroying every single ideal that that flag stands for - every one. They've shown the world a face that is arrogant, reckless, thunderingly hypocritical and baselessly self-righteous - all the worst things that people in power can be, the schoolyard bully magnified into a true monster. That attitude has done a lot of damage, and I don't think Obama, or anyone, can undo all of it. Certainly not in 4 years, and maybe not even in 8.

But look at how their (American) attitudes have changed. Instead of arrogant, reckless and autocratic, they now have a president-elect who is circumspect, thoughtful and inclusive. Americans are starting to see what a leader should be like in a dangerous and complex world: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/opinion/24fri1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Remember Bush's performance during Hurricane Katrina? Remember how the whole disaster took him completely by surprise? That's because he surrounded himself with "yes-men" and sycophants, and nobody would give him any bad news, for fear of losing their jobs. He labeled himself "The Decider", but he was pathetically uninformed, by his own choice. That's the difference. Obama may make decisions that you & I don't agree with, but I am optimistically hopeful that they will at least be carefully thought through and based on solid information.

It's like sunrise on an overcast day: nothing has changed significantly yet, but it all looks so different.

lola granola

Anonymous said...

Let the War Crimes trials begin...

As I was listening to our local professorial cohort attempt to describe the experience, it strikes me that the magnitude of the "change" is indescribable, because it affects the world on infinite (or at least 6.75 billion) levels. What is projected onto one man is the hopes, dreams and fears of a planet, of course someone will be disappointed. However, this president is able to acknowledge differences and still encourage participation in the solution (that's an organizer if ever I heard one).

The danger lies in the vestiges of Bush/Cheney, cancerous and well practiced at destruction. May the way be cleared for their sins to be judged.