Two Cheers For America.
The past few days have been spent watching an inordinate (by my standards) amount of television, in addition
to the usual time I spend in front of The Web. The cause of this is, of course, the recent elections in the
Everwhere you go, all the talk has been of Obama and his Republican opponents...The impression I got from
reading the newspapers over here is an overwhelmingly- positive view of the new President. Even though the
British press tend to be predominantly right-wing , most papers which I've come across have tended to favour
the election of Obama as President.
On Wednesday, as I watched the television coverage of the scenes of unbridled joy from America, I felt a
trickle of involuntary tears running down my cheeks. The sense of euphoria was palpable---even thousands of
miles from the scene of the action. There was a sense of renewed hope--a feeling of warmth and brotherliness
towards the people of America, a sigh of relief at finally looking forward to seeing the back of Bush,
Cheney, and co...I raised two cheers for America, but only two...
Posters For All Tastes.
The cynic in me raised his head when I cast my mind back to 1997. The scenes we witnessed on televison
from America were reminiscent of what we saw over here in London when Tony Blair became Prime
Minister. Back then, we saw the same feeling of relief, the same expectation of change...I then thought back
to the 2-million -person march which I participated in from Euston to Hyde Park, via Piccadilly. So many
diverse groups and individuals had decided that the imminent invasion of Iraq was a totally foolhardy venture
of which this country should have no part. Tony Blair decided to answer us with disdain, having made up
his mind the previous spring to join George W. Bush in his new adventure. We all know what the
consequences of this escapade are...
How powerful will be the forces of reaction who will try their best to influence events? How much can the
suffering people of the Third World expect from the new President, especially as his own country faces tough
times? Will he still maintain subsidies on agricultural produce which the Wretched of the Earth rely on for
trade? What about the promise of an undivided Jerusalem only fit for Jews?
Sure, change has come to America, through free and fair elections,and African-Americans can now begin to
feel that they too belong ( there won't be floating corpses in a flooded New Orleans while the
Commander-in-Chief plays golf), but what will the new Administration be able to change?
For the sake of the whole planet, I hope that whatever Obama manages to achieve, it will help to make
this world a more clean, safe and just place. All our futures depend on it.