Friday, November 7, 2008

A toast to Obama

After work today we gathered together and drank a toast to Obama. Working in a place where many countries and races are represented, it is interesting to hear the views of people from other countries. One of the attendees was a woman who grew up in Denmark. Her parents still live there. She said that all over Europe people have changed their feelings towards the US. We only won by a small percentage, but we have shown that enough of us care about the state of this nation and the world to vote in change.

Here is an excerpt from Gary Kamiya's article in Salon:

"...Only rarely does one know that one is experiencing history while it happens. Barack Obama's victory is one of those occasions. This amazing day marks a decisive change, not just in America's politics but in its soul. It announces the arrival of a new America, of a multitudinous, multihued people whose time has come and who have demanded a politics worthy of them. Their voice echoes across the land from Stone Mountain to Seattle, and its message rings out loud and clear: We have taken our country back."

"We have taken it back from the mean-spirited demagogues who were willing to tear the American people apart to stay in power."

We have taken it back from the apostles of selfishness who pretend naked greed is noble individualism."

"We have taken it back from the deluded hawks who cavalierly sent our youth off to die in a war that should never have been fought."

"We have taken it back from the incompetent officials who lived up to their anti-government credo by bungling everything they touched."

"We have taken it back from the reactionaries whose intolerance, xenophobia and religious zealotry have been encouraged by a distorted Republican Party for far too long."

"Some will say that this election didn't prove that much. They will argue that considering Bush's unpopularity, the war and the financial crisis, this race should never have been even competitive. They will say the race was tied in September and only an inept McCain campaign and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression tilted it toward Obama. They will say that America is still a center-right country."

"But those arguments are like dead trees standing in the path of a spring-snow torrent. A great change has come upon America."

"Watching Obama speak after his victory, I was reminded again of the subtle and profound depths of this man. It was a subdued speech, on the surface almost disappointing, but its eloquent restraint spoke volumes about not just Obama's character but what we could call, harking back to another age, his taste. He chose not to mount the messianic pulpit, knowing that if he did he would alienate many Americans. Because of his complex and hard-earned comfort with his own racial identity, he is a self-reflective man, a man of many parts."

"We have seen his facets. Obama can parry and thrust with Hillary Clinton. He can be hip with Jon Stewart. He can speak eloquently of race, as he did in his victory speech, without foregrounding his own race. He can reach out to those who didn't vote for him, and his native sensitivity makes his words believable. His rhetoric is soaring but never self-aggrandizing: He is too confident in his own identity to need the fix of adulation. A leader with these qualities, a black man whose racial consciousness is so evolved as to be unreadable, has the ability to take America places it has never been before."

"The election of Obama marks a change in what it means to be an American. It is a change that is as true to the essence of conservatism as it is to liberalism, for it has its roots in a generous vision of civic life that both share. And all Americans will benefit from it."

There is more...follow the link to the article if you want to read the rest.

V graffiti in Paris

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