I know this is a blog about movies, but I can't go on without mentioning what happened today. I can't move forward without noting what has passed. Barack Hussein Obama has been elected President of the United States of America for the next 4 years. I wept as I watched him stand on stage surrounded by his family, with Joe Biden and his, all with looks of unreality and joy on their faces. You can't watch something like that and NOT think about 50 years ago when someone like Barack had to drink out of a fountain marked "non-whites" or worse. The Obama Family and the Biden Family standing there, so overwhelmed but so dignified, together on that stage was not just history as any election is, it was monumental.
I'm an American ex-pat living overseas these 12+ years. I grew up in East Texas, a place I keep dearly in my heart but a place peppered with ignorance and hatred. I watched year after year pass as these feelings grew softer yet still simmered under the surface all over the great United States. Not everyone there is like that of course, so please don't assume I would say so. My entire life up to age 17 will always be in Texas, as are many friends, my father and his entire family, a family so American they display the flag, fight for their country and support whatever president they have.
I didn't want Barack Obama to win because he's a black man. When Hillary lost the Dem ticket, I turned to him and asked myself, what is it that he wants to change exactly? I got answers, lots of them. I truly value his plans for the country. His sincerity and heart are undeniable. A President cannot be defined by race or religion, he should be defined by his actions as ruler of a nation.
I also watched Senator McCain concede defeat today and for the first time during the race, thought of both candidates as equals. Senator McCain was eloquent and geniune and I truly felt for him at that moment. I admired what President Obama said in his acceptance speech regarding McCain and recognise it showed the utmost respect for a man I have at times ridiculed...it humbled me. I think all would not have been lost if he was elected but I know in my heart what happened was for a reason.
His policies won President Obama his spot but no one can deny the impact this decision will have. For all the low to no wage earning minorities in the US, this win signifies not only a promise of change that could see reality but turns a spark of hope into a raging inferno for those who never thought to achieve more than their station, than what they've known and their parents have known for too long. I might be getting too poetic here about a man who is really just a politician, and we all know how they can be, but this election was so much more than one politician.
As a proud American ex-pat I feel validated. America sent a message as a part of the world today and that message read: we hear you, we want to be with you, we're ready for change. America, everyone hears you loud and clear. The world is watching and hoping for you that the next 4 years are nothing less than exceptional. We all hope that your economy bounces back, that your citizens all have access to health care and education and that your sons and daughters stop dying in a desert far, far away. America is, and has always been, a powerful nation. The world looks to you, it's strong sibling, to set a standard. For too long the people of the United States have suffered, and we all felt that too. Now, maybe that suffering can be eased.
Some of you will hope that I'll be proven wrong, and that Obama will fail as President. I think if he fails, all of the citizens of America will suffer. I hope that those who voted against him will take Senator McCain's advice and support him as leader of the free world so that he cannot fail.
All the best to you and your families my dear Americans on this, one of history's proudest days.