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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Importance of Obama's Election to the U.S. and the World

The attached note of celebration comes by way of a friend in England. Thanks, B.K.!

And here’s a YouTube video from another friend on how important this election was to Israel; Thanks, A.A.!

These as just a couple of examples as to why yesterday was so important for us and our standing as a world leader.

(And in case you need a review of the last 8 years and what yesterday’s decision came down to, here’s another video courtesy of A.A. that sums it up beautifully;

While it's personally tempting (and easy) to go back to the 2000 election of W as the proverbial beginning of the end, I would mark March of 2003 and the decision to invade Iraq as the real start of the tarnishing of our national reputation and decline of America as an admired and respected society, culture, and world power. These last 5+ years, in my opinion, have witnessed an ever-worsening and troubling decline in this great nation's respect and standing among the peoples of this planet. Maybe Obama’s election signals an awakening by the populace that we can't keep electing leaders who don’t understand - or worse, choose to ignore the fact - that the decisions made by the U.S. affect the rest of the people with whom we share this one world.

One thing is certain in our form of democracy - we have no one to blame but ourselves for the last 8 years. We allowed it to happen. We allowed ourselves as a nation to be overwhelmed by fear, hatred, greed, selfishness, and prejudice. We allowed ourselves to be duped by the frankly childish and xenophobic "us against them", "if you're not with us, you're against us", and "tax breaks for the wealthy" dogma of the Bush administration.

Things will not only be different over the next 4 years, I believe that they will be far, far better thanks to last night's election.

This election proves something. It proves that there is still hope in America, and that 'hope' can and will overcome fear. It proves that there is a desire in this country for a new direction and a new definition of what leadership means. It proves that we are willing to cast aside fears and prejudices. It proves that the majority of voters want America's leaders to once again conceive of a vision of the future that is inclusive and embraces all peoples without suppressing or oppressing them. It proves that we want a president who is committed to policies that will once again raise this nation up so that we become what other nations can embrace, admire, support, and respect.

This is truly an historic time for us and our country. We seem finally to be reaching a point when fear, prejudice, and, yes, race is losing its potency and relevance, especially to the future generations of citizens and voters.

My son is a prime example. I am very, very proud of him for lots of reasons, and yesterday was one more reason why.

He sent me a few text messages yesterday and last night. One of them came at 8:46am - a very early hour for a college sophomore! - encouraging everyone to get out and vote. It's awe-inspiring to know that a 19 year old on the threshold of adulthood is this excited and this engaged about a presidential election.

Here’s what really got me.

He said in one of his messages last night that it was one of the happiest days of his life. He knows and understands the gravity of the decision and that these are truly historic times with tremendous impact on his future. He knows that Obama's election signals a new set of ideals and guiding principles for our society and for the leadership of our government. It gives me great comfort and hope for our future knowing that he and others like him will be our future leaders.

So here's a toast to all of us - Americans, Brits, Afghanis and Iraqis!

Here's to Kenyans and Texans, to Christians and Muslims!

Here's to heterosexuals and homosexuals, to Evangelicals and atheists!

Here's to all of us as we take the next great step in our nation's history and to Barack Obama's historic presidency!

"Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States." 9/11 Commission Report, p.66

-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
Subject: Yippee!
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2008 12:14:18 +0000

Hi Greg

What a fantastic feeling. To wake up and see that the USA has looked beyond short term self-interest and elected a man and a party committed to changing the way that the country interacts with the rest of the world fills me with joy. This day wil be seen as the day that the American people stopped looking backwards and embraced the changes that need to take place for all of our futures. Many of us here in Europe looked on horrified at the messages and choices coming out of the Republican camp. We asked ourselves how so much hatred, poor judgement and insularity could ever be considered electable. Thankfully the people saw through the rhetoric and gave us all a better chance. It was interesting to see how different demographics voted according to the exit polls. The BBC have an excellent breakdown of where Obama won (see This shows that America has grown up. It's not just about looking after #1 if we want to secure a better future. We all have a duty to our neighbours, fellow citizens and other countries.

From all of us over here Congratulations, Thank You and Well Done.

I'll be having a beer or three tonight to celebrate with you!