Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm Hopeful

At some point someone will put up the worldwide numbers about who and how many people followed and watched the US election night results. I suspect the numbers will be unprecedented. What I do know is that on election night, Canadians were more than slightly interested in the outcome.

Almost everyone I know was either watching TV coverage or following the election results online. My son without a TV went to a neighborhood pub and watched in a party-like atmosphere and when the results came in, everyone cheered, clapped and stomped; here, at home, I watched with my husband; my younger son followed on the internet between working on a research paper; people at the NHL hockey game in town listened with earphones on their radios and when the results were shown on the Jumbotron over centre ice - the hockey fans stood and cheered. We watched John McCain concede defeat in a most gracious and conciliatory speech and we watched Barack Obama deliver an inspiring and hope-filled speech for Americans - a speech that touched and was just as meaningful to those of us outside the US. Later, both of my sons told me they had never heard anything as awe-inspiring and powerful in their lives. I haven't heard anything like it since JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King Jr.

It's only been two days after the US election and the euphoria is starting to wear off. Now, the real work starts.

I hope the people who cried and cheered during Obama's speech stop and ponder the content of his words and what he was asking of the American people. I hope they take on board the ideals he expressed. I hope they're patient with him and with each other. I hope there will be a change for the better because, like it or not, as the US goes, so goes much of the world.


Anonymous said...

I hope we do, too, Ell! After the past 20 years I've lost a lot of faith in my country -- especially the past 8 years. I hoped we all act like adults but my better judgement and the media tells me that it's going to be a struggle as the mean-spirited idiots who have ruined the once-proud Republican Party into the dirt are still angry and being hurtful.

Anonymous said...

I've been concerned too..the bubble must burst. Obama himself said he would be tested at the very beginning. i recall Presidents with good intentions being waylaid in their agendas by international crises.
Although touted for the best organized campaign in history, are we expecting he can also shake up the dusty methodology of Congress singlehandly? It isn't easy to effect change in education when so many insulated administrators up through the bureaucracy have learned to play the stall game, flooding whoever is on the next scale up with data that looks good, and shows unrelenting progress.

I fear that when he runs into the bureaucracy himself, Obama will find himself soon enough being crucified for promises unkept. I sure will be praying for him. I would have prayed for McCain. Anyone in that office has a tough time ahead.

Anonymous said...

It feels so good to have hope again. After all these years of being led by fear, we need it. Thank you for this post. It's so good to know what I hoped - that other countries are glad he'll be our next president.

It will take a long time to get out of this mess we are in, and I wish Obama well with this difficult task.