Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Great Day for America

Bobbyjayonfood.com, as its name indicates, is devoted exclusively to food and food-related topics. But the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is such an extraordinary event that I feel compelled to make an exception and to take note of it. In electing Obama, Americans have chosen hope over fear, idealism over cynicism and internationalism over unilateralism. In electing Obama, we have realized the promise of the civil rights movement and sent an important message to the world: The American Dream is still alive.

Since just after 9/11, I have lived in France for about two months a year, and I have been struck by how much the French and others around the world care about the United States and look to us for moral leadership. They have been deeply disappointed in us as our administration has pursued policies that have consciously undermined the world order. Although the American people did not really elect George Bush in 2000 – it took the Supreme Court to accomplish that – we actually did reelect him in 2004, after we knew what he and his administration had done to destabilize the Middle East and to rob Americans of the precious liberties guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I cannot fathom this myself and accordingly have been unable to explain it to my French friends and acquaintances. I have supported Obama since reading his moving book, Dreams from My Father, in which he describes his multi-ethnic and -cultural background and his search for his identity. His story embodies all that has been best about America since its inception. Obama is a gifted leader who I think is uniquely suited to convince non-Americans that what they admire most about us – our freedom, our devotion to equality and justice and our ability to look to the future – remain fundamental characteristics of our nation, and that they are justified in looking to us for leadership and partnership in confronting an uncertain and ominous future.

Our European friends are as thrilled with the election of Barack Obama as I am. I hope we can all help him to lead us to a better place.

Bobby Jay

1 comment:

piglet said...

what beautiful thoughts about the election and our country.
For the first time in a long while i am NOT embarassed about being an American