Watching the campaign as an outsider, I always find US elections pretty farcical, especially the hyperbolic statements with no substance being shouted out at unnecessarily high volumes to a crowd of people cheering and clapping without thinking, like a crowd at a rock concert.
My recent favorite was McCain’s claim that “the Mac is back” in New Hampshire last week, which reminded me of that R&B song in the ‘90s, “Return of the Mac” by Mac Morrison. Smooth brother.
It makes me wonder how these empty statements are going to translate into real policy. As jubilant as I am, I have to admit I don’t really know what Obama’s victory means. What will actually change? Is anyone actually familiar with his specific policies? Is his win really going to be as revolutionary as people are saying?
And what is the significance of having a black president? Obama has been very careful to not make race an issue; I’m sure in an attempt to not isolate white voters. But does a black president necessarily mean a better life for black people? Going by Condoleezza Rice, it’s entirely possible for a black politician to wear the suit and act like a white guy.
Whatever his policies may be, at least we can say that things are going to change in some shape, way or form, and with the way things are in the States, things couldn’t get much worse than they are now.
And one thing we know is, Obama has pledged to get the United States out of Iraq and Afghanistan, in wars that should never have been waged. Wars that have cost more than $3 trillion, or $12 billion a month — money the United States cannot afford to lose amid the credit crisis.
And whether Obama puts “black issues” up high on his agenda, just the image of having a black president is a symbol that even the United States, seen as a conservative nation, is progressing.
Congratulations America, things are looking up for you. In the famous words of Sam Cooke: “Change Is Gonna Come”.
Favourite election quotes:
Sarah Palin interviewed by Charlie Gibson
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia
Barack Obama on the Republican Party
“You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It’s still going to stink after eight years. We’ve had enough.”
“When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed,” Biden told the CBS Evening News on Sept. 22.
But Herbert Hoover was president in October 1929 when the stock market crashed. FDR wasn’t elected until 1932 and television made its debut a decade later, in 1939.
“You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”