Friday, November 07, 2008


A good friend of mine recently canvassed a nearby battleground state for Barack Obama. Today I congratulated him on the effort, remarking that we had done it. He then, in a phrase, captured what I believe to be the essence of what this victory means to so many Americans.

"Now I can travel overseas and not have to lie and tell people I'm Canadian."

He was joking, of course. Kind of. I think.

The fact is, the last 8 years - and in particular the last 4 - have represented an embarrassing stretch for Americans. We haven't been admired, respected, or appreciated by our friends around the globe...and with good reason. Sanctioning torture. Revoking civil liberties. Preemptive, unilateral military strikes founded on manufactured intelligence and hunches. Wiretapping. We've been viewed as fat, lazy, greedy, hostile, spiteful, vengeful bullies with massive chips on our shoulders and a Patrick Swayze approach to foreign policy.

It's my way or the highway. Clearly we haven't been taking the "high" way.

Most people around the globe don't hate the American people - but they do detest our policies. And those policies (fair or not) have been largely attributed to our dictator in chief - President Bush. The shift away from his party signaled to the world that the American people soundly reject what Bush has done...both at home and abroad. Each vote for Obama added to the momentum of a massive movement - the national reclamation of our dignity.

And so my friend had it exactly right - joking or not. With the election of Obama, we don't have to hang our heads in shame for our witless, bumbling chief executive. We can be a proud people again, confident in the abilities of our chosen leader.

At least until inauguration day when his mettle is put to the test. Then all bets are off. The economic deck is stacked against him.

The naysayers are already calling for his impeachment - indeed there are Facebook groups already dedicated to the cause months from inauguration. There are miserable millions still suffering the agony of defeat and declaring their discord with the usual statements of defiance. He's not MY president. He doesn't represent ME.

Oh, but he does. And if you give the man some time, and cut the guy some slack, you may just find yourself thankful for it. We have, on a single day, in a single election, restored the faith of the world community in our collective judgment as a nation. Further, we demonstrated in the most meaningful of ways, that we remain qualified to lead by the power of example.

Heck - maybe Canadians traveling abroad will even lie and say they're Americans. I am joking of course. Kind of.


jaime said...

We're finally cool!

jaime said...

got cut off: