This time four years ago – a flashback as we move forward

Exactly four years ago, I wrote a short blog entry about the 2008 election results, with Obama capping the night with his victory speech.  I’m not an American citizen, but one cannot deny the role that the US has in global affairs and this is reason enough for me to be in the know and to be engaged in some way with the elections.  This time though, I am not rooting for anyone.  I am only praying that whatever the outcome will be tomorrow, it will move this country forward.

Blog entry written on November 5, 2008: http://dioneh.multiply.com/journal/item/40/An-Historic-Night-for-USA…-and-for-the-world

For the past five or so hours I have been glued to the boob tube, closely following the US 2008 presidential elections. Let’s face it, this election is one for the books, not because of the many firsts it defined, but more so because of the current state of our world. We are facing serious issues ahead – the recent economic crisis, the wars in the forefront and those that go unpublicized, the moral and social issues we face, our planet Earth in peril. After listening to Obama’s victory speech, I am filled with hope and, as he puts it, a “new spirit of patriotism, a new spirit of responsibility.” This new spirit of patriotism is one that encompasses one’s nationality, one’s affiliation, one’s heritage. We are patriots of the modern world. We are responsible, not only for ourselves and for our family, but for each others’ welfare. I think this is the message and the great challenge that Obama pointed out in his victory address. There will always be disagreements. There will be a lot of debates ahead, but, I think, having a president-elect like Obama opens a lot of doors to the many sectors in our society – opportunities to have their voices heard, for issues to be discussed and to take action. I have my own apprehensions on Obama, especially in key ethical and moral issues. However, I am confident that he will deliver in his promise of change. The calm optimism that he exuded in his speech is a foreshadowing of his overall demeanor. He is prepared to face the challenge, and he has called on everyone to join him. He downplayed the historic implications of his being the first African-American president or the fact that he won most of the swing states, and the electoral college by a landslide. Instead, he called on the American people to take on the challenge and say “yes, we can.”

Of course, the cynic in me says that this a politician after all, and this grand victory speech is just one of the many more sugar-coated propaganda that politicians usually spill out of their boisterous mouths. But I am more of an optimist. And the optimist in me says that this guy can be what a president is supposed to be. Of course, it is not a one-man act, and the bigger picture includes all these traditional politicians and their agendas. The bigger picture is a scary picture. And that is where the American people come in. They should be the “beacon of democracy” that they proudly call themselves. They must show the world that this is not just a one night stint, but a lifetime commitment. Tonight is a glorious night for the American people, they have achieved the change they sooo desired and needed. But tomorrow, we will all wake up to the same problems that we are currently facing. We need to commit to this change. I sincerely hope and pray that this change is for the better, that this change does not compromise our values, that this change will benefit, not only the American people, but the whole world as well. Rock on, Obama!

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