Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The New World
Superficial thoughts on a historic event, as I find it difficult to consider the important details when the big picture is so staggering.
Four days shy of my fiftieth year, the country of my birth has done something I could not have conceived of a mere few years before: elected a black man as president.
There is, of course, much, much more to Barack Obama than the color of his skin, but in this country color is and always has been a huge factor in determining success, despite the fact that everyone agrees it shouldn't be a factor at all. So the first thought on my mind, and I suppose everyone's, is that whatever your politics, it's worthwhile to just ponder the fact that an enormous milestone has been reached, one that fairly defies the urge to pay it no heed, to consider the theoretically more weighty, substantial matters involving the war and the economy that lie ahead.
It's hard to get around the fact that the impossible has been achieved, that it cannot ever be said again that the highest office in the land is open to white men only.
This is a huge event, and the effect it will have on our culture, and for Western culture in general, and how we think of ourselves as a country will be enormous in ways none of us can predict. In this respect alone, it's a big step forward, and it comes at the right time. Bill Clinton, for all his misstatements over the past year, was right about the fact that Barack Obama is on the right side of history, and so was this election.
This is a bandwagon I'm glad I climbed on, a presidency I can get behind, and a First Family I am enormously happy to see. It gives me enormous faith in the possibilities of the future.