Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, he did.

I've lived and voted in general elections in Britain. I've watched the Presidential election in France and, now, I've seen a US Presidential election. It's quite something. Watching history happen in front of you.

I'm not American but I've always loved this country. I spoke with my mother a couple of weeks ago and she, as a young girl in the middle of England, grew up looking to the US as being a truly special place and I think it is. It's an incredible country. I've always thought so. Things happen here.

But there has been an awful amount wrong with the country for a long time. The last eight years has seen the country's popularity slip to unknown depths across the world. The economy has plummeted, breathlessly, to almost unbelievable depths. It has been embroiled in a war which had little or no mandate and which, by next April, will have lasted as long as the Second World War (and longer than America's involvement in that war).

Now the country has a leader of intelligence, seemingly strong, passionate, balanced, energetic and somewhat charismatic. He has mobilised a disinterested youth to reenergize their interest and voice in politics and the direction of their country and, by default, their future.

Barack Obama's speech, tonight, was powerful, moving, strong and, above all else, inclusive. He appealed to those whose votes he didn't win. He spoke to his colleagues across the political divide. He also told the story of an American woman 'of colour' that voted today at the age of 106. He related how much she has seen in her lifetime. It carried with it the weight of history that must stare back from the mirror for every American tomorrow morning. Even as a non-American I shed a tear for the thought that this may just be the start of something truly great. So much hope, so much anticipation and so much to do.

One of my favourite journalists is the BBC's John Simpson. As ever, he was utterly on point tonight.

Rise up, America, make this, at least, a start to craft a better future.

1 comment:

steve simon said...

so true, I think Americans will be replacing the Canadian flags on their backpacks with American ones.