Monday, November 10, 2008

I realise I am totally behind the times...

... but have been very busy finishing off Book 3 and therefore didn't have time to blog as I'd intended to about the US election last week.

As it's all over bar lots of photo ops of Barack meeting Dubya (how weird is that? Since when has the outgoing incumbent been so friendly to the incoming one?) at the White House and whole rainforests have been cut down in the reams of copy various hacks throughout the globe have been filing about this "historic" occasion ("historic" - most overused word of the week. Discuss.), I'm not going to say too much.

Except this. While I do think it was a great day for America last week (and more importantly a FANTASTIC day for democracy. Would that people would turn out to vote in such numbers in this country. Would that we had a politician who could inspire us to turn out in those numbers), I don't think Barack Obama is the Messiah, and I also think he is possibly too inexperienced to lead the world's largest democracy. On the plus side, he's not Dubya, and he also has the opportunity to rebuild bridges that Dubya and his cronies have burnt in their squandering of the world's goodwill towards America during their two terms in office. He also represents the best of America. If a country that forty years ago was segregating its citizens because of their colour can overcome its problems sufficiently to produce a black president (though technically of course he is inconveniently half white but its more dramatic to present the black heritage of course), then that can only be a good thing. However, I doubt very much the troops are coming home from Iraq any time soon, despite what Obama would like to do, and there's a hell of a financial mess to sort out when he's got time.

It will be interesting to see how quickly the US public fall out of love with Obama when he demonstrably fails to deliver (well he'd have to be superhuman to sort all the problems out in his lifetime let alone in four years), and whether he can manage to make a difference at all. Saying "we can" and actually effecting change are after all two very different things.

Still. It was a great day for the world last week, and here's hoping things turn out better then the cynic in me imagines they will. A president who actually turns out to have as much integrity as it appears he does, and can actually bring about positive changes in his society and to the world at large. Now that would be historic.

No comments: