Thursday, November 06, 2008

One Swift Moment of Promise After Eight Years of Mess


It seems that in one swift moment – albeit after two years of anticipation – the world has changed.

I knew that it would be a historic event if it were to come to pass. How could it not be? Barack Obama is the first black man to be elected President of the United States. That's a big deal. An achievement I did not think I would see in my lifetime.

In this year, man found water on Mars. And in this year the United States of America elected an African American to the highest office in the land.

But I thought in this apathetic society of today, it would happen, it would be acknowledged like a new home run record, and then off we would go to the next thing.

But I was wrong.

I have never been so moved by a political event. The falling of the Berlin wall was close, but this made me kind of well up inside. This was magical.

The scenes of the rest of the world so surprisingly erupting in celebration surprised me beyond words. I do not believe these scenes were staged. I don't think they could have been? Who could have staged them?

The whole world breathed a huge sigh of relief. And that sigh produced the warmest global breeze of change of attitude the world has felt in my lifetime.

And I wonder.

I wonder, had the election turned out the other way – how would the world have reacted? Would they have pointed to America again as frauds – as they did after Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, only to have George Bush's brother Jeb's state Florida upset the cart declaring hanging chads on ballots would decide the Electoral College for the Republicans?

I think that for as fine, decent, honest and sincere I believe John McCain to be, I believe the world would have cried out "FOUL!" if somehow this time he would have come from behind and won this election.

So now the world awaits the inauguration of President Elect Obama.

A feeling of awe is in the air around the globe.

But usually when great news breaks – compelling as this historic moment – the New York Stock Exchange reacts in an upswing. A rise as though riding the wave of optimism.

But instead the NYSE continues to fall.

Is it a sign that this optimism is premature? Or perhaps artificial?

Or is it a sign that the current American President has made such a mess in world affairs and economic policies that there is doubt even a change as large as the one to President Obama shows little hope of cleaning up such a large mess.

So in one swift moment – indeed the world changed.

But the mess will take much longer to fix. It took eight years to make.

Congratulations Mr. Obama. I wish you all the luck and best wishes. And I believe that you will have a world full of prayers behind you.

What a truly amazing time to be alive.

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