Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The U.S. is Back on Track!! I Am In Tears!!!

**UPDATE: It's 12:05PM Wednesday, Hong Kong time. ABCNews has just announced that it projects Obama to win California and Washington, and hence announced that he is the 44th President of the U.S.***

With that announcement, I was overcome with emotions. I am literally in tears. And I'm drinking a celebratory shot of my favorite Cuban rum. I am so proud of my country and the people there. This is one of the most amazing things I've experienced in my lifetime. I am so happy.

Anyway, here's the rest of my post that I wrote a few hours ago when it seemed evident that Obama's victory was only a matter of time.

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It's hard to not be cynical about things as you get older. I was so upset 8 years ago with the whole recount fiasco in Florida and so disappointed and disgusted 4 years ago.

But today is completely different. I'm so proud to be an American and so happy that other Americans voted for the best candidate.

That said, for most of my life I honestly didn't believe that I'd live long enough to see a black President. I believed it would happen eventually but much later.

I've never been so happy to be wrong!!!!

Barack Obama is truly special. I wish I were there to celebrate with everyone. It's such a relief.

If you haven't lived in the U.S. and seen some of the awful things that have gone on in the inner cities there, it's hard to truly appreciate the magnitude of today's election.

A black president!!!

This is a validation that even though the U.S. is an experiment that doesn't always work, when it does work and does live up to its professed ideals, Americans have a common sense that transcends those shackles of tradition that hold so many other countries back.

Despite its many problems, the U.S. is still the most integrated, most diverse place on earth. People of so many colors and backgrounds rub shoulders together each and every day. And I'm not talking about just in so-called 'elite' cities like NY and San Francisco and L.A.

You travel around down South and in small towns, and you see that even in the most rinkydink towns in the middle of nowhere, you'll see different people interacting as part of daily life.

It's like the old saying: You can tell what a person's about by what he or she does, not what he or she says.

In the U.S., we live together despite our differences, despite the discomfort of being forced to deal with difference. It's not perfect and lots of people may lament this reality, but you can't argue against demographics. The country is diverse. And it'll only get more so and hence, better, in the future.

Academics and pundits and other experts can go on arguing about policy and ideology in their on-going culture wars, but in the streets and in the schools and in real life, people, rich or poor, are forced to deal with difference. In fact, it might be the case that poor people are forced to be more frank about race and have more interactions with people of other races than the rich, but that's another can of beans...

Anyway, as great and egalitarian a society as the ones that have been built in Japan and in Scandinavian countries, which I respect them so much for doing, theirs will never be truly exciting and dynamic as in the U.S. because of this diversity.

Diversity is the true legacy of the U.S. and what makes it the most special place on earth.

We're finally back on track!!! Thank you!!

***This is a little off-topic, but the local coverage on Pearl TV is so shabby, it's almost funny. Why do they even bother? Just send us the abcNews feed already.

It's like the 'stellar' English-language coverage of the Olympics that Pearl TV provided in which the broadcasters' utter and unbelievable lack of expertise or even basic knowledge of the sport they were covering was to the point that it was embarrassing. It's times like that that HK seems to be a small and parochial backwater and not the World Asia City that whoever is doing the PR campaign keeps claiming it to be.

3 comments:

WhiteDuskRed said...

Try subscribing to ChannelNewsAsia to your news feed.

mao365 said...

Thanks for the tip. Will try.

grover said...

Truly a fantastic day for the US.

And he's half black. Same way my children will be half Latin.

America could move a great step forward if it would learn to distinguish by origin rather than color. This seems to be something that Europe does quite well.