The next president of the United States will be a black man. Like on the last season of the West Wing, a man who happens to be a minority gets elected president. (There’s a few other parallels I could make- both Obama and Bartlet were professors, strongly faithful, etc. Aaron Sorkin couldn’t have written a better story)
A historic moment for the Americans, he’s a transcendental politician. Not since, who, JFK? A man to unite them, to lead them when the world is falling apart because the man before was an incompetent, idiotic, bible-thumping frat-boy who thought diplomacy was a weakness. Obama has a lot to deal with: two wars, a failing economy, climate change, etc. Will that be his legacy? Cleaning up the mess left behind by the Bush Jr. administration? Will he get to establish his own agenda, make his own mark? Probably not.
To be honest, he’s not progressive enough (for me). He’s against (or at least, not for) gay marriage, and he’s highly pious. (I may have snickered inappropriately during McCain’s concession speech about Obama’s grandmother watching him from heaven and during the victory speech’s obligatory “God bless America”) and quite frankly, I was mostly anti-Palin. He is however, the choice for America now. Better than the moron before, and you can’t really be leftist in the US without sounding like a lunatic.
(Am I slightly bitter that the Americans have a better person in charge than Canada now and I can’t quite feel superior to them anymore? Yes.) (Also, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Ben and Jerry’s gave away free food to people who voted, I can’t see Tim Horton’s ever doing that)
But standing in a room full of Americans during the election, they had something they haven’t had in a very long time. Hope. Pride in being American again. Happiness that wasn’t completely engineered by alcohol. Tears of joy. Wanting to one day show their grandkids their photocopied ballot where they voted for the first black man for President, even if it did fly out the window and ended up on the street, underneath a car (my bad). He’s got the expectations of an entire world on his shoulders, which I suppose, would make him Atlas… Change takes time. And it’s politics.
Election’s over. Get to work. There’s a lot to be done. And Bush still has the nuclear (nuclear, not “nukular”) codes for 75 more days. He can still do a lot of damage in that time.
PS To Barack Obama. If you want to get on my good side, repeal the Global Gag Rule. http://www.globalgagrule.org/