Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And now the real work begins.

With a sense of unerring inevitability, we can now pause and reflect as America celebrates (or bemoans, if you're racist, stupid or rabidly Republican) the first black man in the White House. Who didn't see this coming? It's history making to the nth degree and the vindication of the Civil Rights movement which spawned such exemplaries as Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr.

But race is not the issue today, even though it is a giant leap for racial equality. Today's issue is the platform upon which Barrack Obama has conducted his entire presidential campaign - the need for change.

Forget novelty, racial bias, the 'cult of personality', inexperience and all the other criticisms tossed Obama's way recently. To my mind, Obama won simply because he recognised something fundamentally wrong with the American nation, and demanded change. He's promised a government that doesn't try to solve every problem - and has acknowledged that they realistically can't solve every problem -but will do its utmost to solve the issues plagueing America and the larger world. Now that's a far more realistic premise than the somewhat vague Republican promise of a 'stronger America' and 'future good times'.

To be sure, Barrack Obama is an icon just by winning the election and he deserves the celebratory fireworks and accolades; but once the red, white and blue streamers settle, the real work begins. The work of rebuilding a country battered by mismanagement. The work of helping stabilise and grow a national and global economy teetering precariously on the edge. The work of creating a better future for tomorrow. Obama's legacy will not be measured by simple election victory, but by tomorrow. The crafting of that legacy starts now.

It's tempting to think that everything's all well and good now that the presidency's won. That's obviously not the case. Obama's not the messiah. Change won't happen overnight. The mistakes of the Bush administration will take a lot more than a simple election to erase. I dare say it might take Obama's entire term.

I don't envy him his job. There's the issue of climate change, the staggering economy, healthcare and education, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror... I doubt any president anywhere has ever stepped into the Oval Office with that many diverse major issues hanging in the rafters.

Sure Obama's got his shortcomings. He's inexperienced, he's been accused of being passive, he's been accused of playing politics (what a shocker!). He's not the messiah, but right now he's the best man for the job. In a sense, we've all bought into Obama's call for change we can believe in. For better or ill, he carries - directly or indirectly - the hopes and dreams of millions globally.

Change isn't something that just happens. You have to want it, believe in it, and work your damnedest best to get it despite all the rocks that will come your way. Change is supremely hard, but change is precisely what we need.

God be with you in your presidency.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things that tickled me in the last 15 minutes.

By the way, do the current American elections strike anyone as being almost Star Wars-ish? Seriously, we've got:

1. Archiac irrelevant government

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

2. Kindly-looking (somewhat dubious?) old fellow
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

3. Damsels who cause distress
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

4. Evil flunkies in the wings
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

5. Inexperienced hope for the future
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

6. Strangely ambigious outside forces
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

7. Draws satrical comparisons to Monty Python
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

Yes, I know I'm a little behind. I only just got introduced to the punditkitchen webbie, okay? (Thanks Ame!)