Friday, November 7, 2008
A President of Hope
Congratulations. You finally made it. It took eight years, billions of Dollars, thousands of bodies and God knows how much in goodwill, but you finally have an elected representative in the big white building. You came out, hardly unscathed, but make it out you did. You finally woke up to realise that wars on nouns don't really turn out too well.
See what I just did there? A cynical sarcastic comment. But we all seem to be so cynical these days. Cynicism, negetivity are the new black. You know, cool. But then I saw something. I saw a woman cry. I saw her face go from anxious hope, through a whole gamut of emotions, and finally break into tears of unrestrained joy (and maybe even a little bit of relief?). I saw her mouthing the words "We did it" over and over again. Of course it was on television. But it was more real than anything I have seen recently.
Display of emotions like these are reserved for sporting contests. But politics ? Really ? Who cares if one incompetent fools replace another on the seat of power? That's the way most of us see politics these days. It's an excuse to badmouth some people and go back to our daily lives. But U.S.A., you finally made the world proud. You picked a man from nowhere and took him to the top. Because you realised you COULD do it. And only you could. It wasn't enough to hope for change, you'd actually have to get it yourself.
I envy you, you know. I really do. I don't say this because you have a great president, someone who will wave his little magic wand and make your problems go away. Whether he can get you out of the hole you have dug yourself into remains to be seen. Some say he is the right man. I say, let's wait and watch. Maybe he is. but that's not because why I envy you.
I envy you because finally, FINALLY you have a leader, not just a politician, as your President. Someone who you can cry for, someone who inspires you, someone who makes you feel like he could change the world and for a pinch, so can you. For too long we have had leaders who elicit emotions restricted to anger, bigotry or hate. Leaders who inflame passions of all the wrong kinds. That does not mean we don't have good leaders. Our own Prime Minister is a good man, a smart man. A humble, intelligent, compassionate man. I truly believe he is. But he does not make me FEEL. He does not make me wan't to go out there in the rain just to hear him speak. You have such a man.
President Barack Obama has a tough job ahead of him. But he has you, his countrymen by his side. He is a black man who got elected to the highest office of the Unites States of America. A country where only eighteen percent of the population share his skin colour. This goes beyond race. He could do this because he could drag you out of the culture of cynicism you had settled into. Lets hope he can do all that you hope he can. The world will be watching.