After nearly a year of incessant political campaining culminating with a frenetic last few weeks of countless television harangues from the two presidential candidates, the people of the USA have finally chosen a new president. They elected Barak Obama as the first Afro-American president in the 200+ years history of the USA.
His impressive win included majorites of the voters in many states across the USA. It included a broad base of support from white, black, asian and hispanic voters. It included support from urbanites in the major cities and from citizens in small towns and rural communities across the land. It incuded rich and poor, highly educated and less educated voters. Such a decisive win indicates the widespread dissatisfaction with the policies of the current political administration and with the thirst for a change in the direction we are headed.
I hope and pray that he can deliver it.
I have been traveling to Europe at least once a year for the past decade. I know that most of the Europeans that I met were never hostile to the USA nor resentful of it. They idolized our principals of democracy and freedom. The USA was long viewed as a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world, as the champion of the poor and the opressed, as a protector of human rights and as the shining example of a working democracy.
Over the past eight years, that image was badly tarnished. My European friends grew increasingly disappointed. They saw "preemptive invasions", secret detention centers, condoned torture, imprisonment without trial, and government spying on its own citizens. "What happened to our beacon of hope?" "Where is our shining example of freedom and democracy?" they cried. I understood their disappointment. Many of us in the USA shared their disappointment. We yearned for a return to the principals of freedom and democracy that our fathers had long enjoyed. Our country was primed for a change.
Yesterday, Barak Obama was chosed as our instrument to bring about that change.
Today the world looks at the USA in admiration and says "If a black man can rise up and become the leader of this great land, then perhaps it is a real democracy after all!" Most of us in the US share this sentiment. Today, we are proud to be part of this great country.