Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"A new dawn of American leadership is at hand"

I spent the day with a score of physicists trying to get work done while they scanned their Blackberries for the latest vote counts. Having gotten home and watched Obama's speech my relief has been replaced by excitement.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

My friends on the left, particularly in New Zealand, have a sometimes deserved reputation for anti-Americanism. At the end of four years living in the United States I was an enthusiastic combatant for the contrary view in any and all private discussions but I finally shut my mouth after the first photos from Abu Ghraib. From tonight I'm back on the team.


Anonymous said...

I had wandered into a little pub here in canada to see what was going on with the election when they announced the outcome. The speech later was so impressive some people there actually cried. (I guess though that groups of people always intensify such moments.) I really liked it that he made no explicit mention of "the war on terror" or other plain hateful remarks.

With respect to anti-'something'ism btw I think that you can be pretty much anti-any country if you want to, as there's plenty of dirt to be dug up anywhere. (although some places evidently have more dirt than others :) ) I also know a lot of people in europe who are quite anti-american. Ironically, I think this outright anti-americanism is somewhat based on ignorance which is exactly the thing that americans are often accused of themselves. Most people in europe have also not traveled to the us and merely base their views on public media and other people's opinions, ironic as one of the main prejudices against americans is that they have no idea of what's going on outside their country. I think this is perfectly understandable though, from both sides. After all, being able to travel and see for yourself is a great luxury. I'm happy that the election of obama will probably help dispel some unfounded aspects of anti-americanism. I think its a great pity to be anti-any country btw, as I've actually concluded after traveling quite a bit that most people are friendly wherever you go and just want to get on with their normal life. (sadly, bad things occasionally happen, but I like to think they're a temporary phenomenon :) )

Did you see the plexiglas protection btw? I'm really wondering whether this will become a permanent feature of obama's appearances in public. I'm also curious what happened to his aunt living illegally in the US. I suppose that now that she changed status from an illegal immigrant to being the aunt of the president they can't send her back :) (to be kidnapped in africa I mean :) )

Andrew D said...

I missed the plexiglass until yesterday. Clearly it's a worrying time to be a Secret Service agent.

Steve Withers said...

People were anti-Bush. Few were genuinely anti-American. Clinton was well-liked. Bush was - rightly - reviled. That Americans re-elected him in 2004 made them all complicit in what he had done - and would do.

But they have awoken and redeemed themselves by voting for Obama and rejecting more Orwellian Republican mis-direction.