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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yay Obama!

[Watch Obama's victory speech in full on the BBC]

What an historic day. A day I am very happy to be alive and witnessing. Bloomin' marvellous.

I've been looking at photos of reactions around the world for the last hour. Reading the editorials, learning about Obama's background. It's clear that a lot of the world is as happy as I am.

What a day for democracy! This is really what it's all about. Millions of people simultaneously saying "Yes, we want change". It makes me proud to be, er, British, with American friends.

This is not just the election of a new president, this could be the beginning of a significant change in direction for a country we love to hate. The election of Obama could fundamentally alter my attitude towards the US. I might even find myself wanting to visit there again. No, but seriously, I feel the barriers are melting.

For me, Obama represents the diversity of the modern multicultural world we now live in. Here's a quote from the Guardian:

Barack Obama won the US presidential election by building a broad rainbow coalition of voters embracing younger people under 45, black people, Hispanics, independents, moderates, people from most income groups, and women.

White males apart, McCain attracted majority support in a limited number of categories, including older Americans, evangelical Christians, and conservatives – the bedrock of the Republican base. This apparent narrowing of the GOP's appeal will fuel speculation about the end of the Republican "era" that began in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan.

Reagan owed his victory to so-called Reagan Democrats, southern white blue-collar workers.

In the age of Obama, it is upwardly mobile, middle class suburban and ex-urban voters who are now changing the paradigm and setting the pace in states such as North Carolina and Virginia. Increasingly, they identify with the Democrats.

I've never paid any attention to US political parties before now, but I learnt a fair bit today, and am delighted the Democrats are in.

And check out his environmental policies! This is such good news for the world after years of a pro-oil anti-reform administration. The Earth can breath a sigh of relief!

What a great role model he is. What an inspiration. Ahh, it's bloomin marvellous. I'm so happy. This is a time to embrace.

hmmm. I'm going to watch his speech on race now.

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Anonymous Thomas said...

What a day for democracy! This is really what it's all about. Millions of people simultaneously saying "Yes, we want change"

Um, yeah. And at the same time, California, Arizona and Florida all voted to ban gay marriage, and Arkansas, who already have such amendments to their consitution, voted to ban unmarried couples from adopting, something so blatent CNN simply call it "Ban on Gay Couples Adopting Children".

So, I'll be more impressed by America when they're less than 50% bigoted scum. Maybe when all their over 60's die.

6/11/08 01:47  
Blogger Joseph said...

Yes, lots of bad things did continue to happen in the world today as well, but I don't think that's reason to not applaud such a good thing. If we don't celebrate the individual wins because not everything is perfect, we'll never be happy.

6/11/08 01:57  
Blogger Orchid64 said...

I'm saddened to hear you talk of the U.S. the way your are doing so here. You love to hate America? All of your talk about being positive, and you have none of that for us Americans (who are people just like the British and the Japanese and just as worthy of the same respect and positive feelings as them).

Today's America is essentially the same composition of America that elected George Bush 8 years ago. Only a 2-3% shift in undecided voters and a mobilization of younger and minority voters made a difference. You may want to reserve your attitude change for the future when you realize that people of a country are not their leaders. Americans were not George Bush yesterday. They're not Barack Obama today.

Also, that same African American element that helped get Obama elected (yes, white people voted for him, too, more white people voted for him than any other Democrat in history save a slightly higher number for Jimmy Carter), also is the main group responsible for shooting down gay marriage in California. Sixty-nine percent of black folks in California voted to support withdrawing the legalization of gay marriage. That means that as one minority group saw a revolutionary rise to power and a step ahead, they voted overwhelmingly to discriminate against another.

So, if Thomas is wrong about old people being the "bigoted scum." We'd all do well to question our bias and preconceptions about other people.

6/11/08 09:32  
Blogger Joseph said...

orchid64: Firstly, apologies for any offence caused.

Secondly, I'd like to point out that I don't agree with Thomas's take on the American people.

Thirdly, I apologise for using the word 'country' when referring to the administration. Until now I have seen the American people and the American administration as two distinct entities, linked only by the fact that they are both on the same continent. Thus, when I refer to loving to hate the US, its in no way a reflection of my feelings towards the people, who are, like you say, people like me.

(Having said that, so is the administration. To be honest, I personally haven't hated for a long time, and my feelings towards the administration have been more those of sadness than anything else).

Thus I acknowledge that 'hate' was the wrong word to use, being too strong to refer to what is more a sense of disease and disempowerment when faced with the fallout from the actions of the Bush Administration.

6/11/08 14:03  
Blogger Orchid64 said...

I wouldn't say I was offended. Upset and dispirited, but not offended...

I've been listening to people rip on the U.S. for a very long time up to now and I can't help but notice how fickle their feelings are. One day we're all the mustache-twirling villains and stereotypical ugly Americans and the next we've gone and elected the new messiah. Three days ago, America was the same place it is now. The people still loved, worked, hurt, and helped. It's the same place with the same people.

The judgment of the world is constantly weighing on the U.S., and it's demoralizing and exhausting. It's okay to hate on the U.S. because the country is powerful and affluent, though that power and affluence doesn't belong to 98% of the population.

I guess that your comments were unexpected given that you seem to be endeavoring to come from a better place than most people. I understand your explanation though I hope you'll understand that the "disease and disempowerment" of which you speak hurts Americans as much or more than the rest of the world and they're no happier about it than you or anyone else is. They're also very nearly as powerless to stop it.

At any rate, we all chose our words badly at times, so I understand.

6/11/08 15:50  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks for understanding, and the prod in the right direction. I agree, not my finest moment.

I do take your point. The US is the same place it was last week (with the exception of the fact that it now has the Messiah as President-Elect!)

6/11/08 16:55  

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