Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let's hope they will...

What a shame it is that we in the rest of the world can't vote in today's election - it'd be an Obama landslide. But all we can do is hope that enough people in the USA have believed 'Yes, we can' and have, or are or will be doing it today, voting not for McCain whose final stump speech in Colorado was all about fighting - 'my friends, we must fight and fight and fight... and I will fight and fight and fight', but for That sane One in the other corner.

I've heard so many totally stupid things said about Obama, but the comments that struck me today were the ones which dissed McCain and Obama equally, calling them both undistinguished. While I'd have to agree that McCain is, for his 72 years, pretty undistinguished (855th out of 860 in his graduating year at Annapolis, crashing four planes in his years as a fighter pilot, only allowed to fly because his father and grandfather were admirals, screwing around on the wife who'd endured terrible pain and disfigurement in a car-crash before divorcing her so he could marry a very rich woman, unable to remember exactly how many houses he has), Obama is a different kettle of fish. The first black editor of the Harvard Law Review is a pretty distinguished way to start a career; an eloquent and elegant writer; a man who turned his back on the opportunity to rake in the millions as a lawyer, preferring to serve and help disadvantaged people; a phenomenal organiser with a real talent for finding and keeping excellent staff; a man who rarely loses his temper in public.

Obama is special. The Economist fingered him a little over four years ago as one to watch and they have been right. Personally, I wanted him to win the Democrat nomination because I suspected that he would be less divisive than Hillary. While I admire what Mrs Clinton has achieved as a Senator, the Clinton I'd rather see in the White House is Chelsea, who seems to have taken the best of both her parents and become, somehow, a decent and sensible and sane human being. So I got that wish. And the way Obama has conducted himself and led his party and led his campaigners and organisers, who all seem to follow him with a dedication that goes well beyond duty, show a man of intelligence and warmth, of humanity and dignity, who no doubt will see his integrity suffer as he strives to manage the position which I so hope he wins during the course of today, but who also gives me the impression of being a man wise enough to take his country forward in a direction that will give not just the US but all of us hope.

Wisdom, health, common sense, intelligence, genuine commitment to family and to the future - these are Obama's positive attributes, and in a time where very hard decisions must be taken, where very dangerous people must be contained and where compromises must be reached, they are the attributes that will ensure that this currently rickety world of ours is a little safer and a little saner.

Obama's victory will say so much to the rest of the world about America, and for those of us who know and love America, will give us instead of the volatile, the self-absorbed, the materialistic and power-hungry world of Republicanism, the altruistic, exciting, innovative, problem-solving world of the United States.

I'm not naive - the Democrats have their ties to corporate fatcats and their satanic agreements sewn up with lobbiests too. Obama's hands are by no means clean. But if you are a decent individual heading into the muddy swamps of politics, you can't expect to remain squeaky and pristine. I'd rather have someone who does know and understand the ropes, who has an inkling of how to yank them to achieve his goals rather than yelling swear words and pulling a McNasty. Let's hope a significant majority of the American public is thinking the same thing. I'll be crossing my fingers.


Alice B. said...

Thanks for a great post. I'm an American who voted for Obama. Finally, thankfully, after eight hard years, I can be cautiously optimistic about the direction of my country. It's such a joy and relief.

BTW, I'm a lurker on Jenny Crusie's fan site and started following your blog (which I love) because of your comments on Tied to the Tracks. Wonderful book. Read Pajama Girls of Lambert Square as soon as you can. It's great too.

Madeleine Conway said...

Thanks Alice - I'm saving up Pajama Girls for a pyjama day, but unfortunately, I never seem to get a quiet moment of just curling up with a good book just now...but rest assured, it's on the TBR pile.