Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama: Now we believe

This entry has been long overdue.

It's been a little over a month since my last entry and America has changed, so it seems, over night. Obama has gone and swept through the elections to be America's next President, and America's first Black President.

Who would have thought? Many a Singaporean hoped America would vote for a black president, but deep down didn't believe it would actually happen. To many of us, America is a country of big talkers who will
say many things to please, but do quite the opposite come crunch time.
But on the 4th of Nov, America proved us wrong. And I believe it also shocked many Americans too. This time, the polls were right.

It was an emotional time for me too. I was at the American Club as the elections unfolded and I have to say, my heart skipped a few beats and the hairs on the back of my neck stood as the screen flashed: "Ohio for Obama", "Virginia for Obama", "Pennsylvania for Obama", "FLORIDA for Obama"!!! [See
Realclearpolitics for the final tally]

I was nearly in tears. I was praying to God, let Obama win like it was a matter of life and death to me. I was screaming and jumping each time Obama won a state. My hands were sweaty and I was constantly at the edge of my seat.

I'm not American. This is not a vote for my president. Why was I so emotional? I would hardly be a fraction so anxious at my own country's elections.

Obama has come to represent all the western ideals that I grew up reading in history books and bedtime story books of how with conviction, one can achieve justice; that with courage, the good people can stand up against tyranny and achieve truth, justice, equality and victory.

The 4th of November was momentous for me because right there and then, I felt like I was part of a historic moment. This day would be a watershed moment in history and decades later, I can tell my children and grandchildren that I was there when America voted it's first Black President, and I was there to see the Americans cheer, scream, cry and embrace each other when Obama was made President.

I had so many Americans tell me that for the first time in 8 years, they don't feel ashamed of being American. For the first time in 8 years, they are not embarrassed to tell people they are American. And for the first time in 8 years, they feel proud of their country.

For me, for the first time in over 20 years, I actually believe democracy works. And for the first time in a long time, I actually believe that justice exists in this world. That good occasionally triumphs over evil (not to say that McCain is evil. In fact I quite like the guy), and that there is hope for a better world.

There are very few people who can make you sit up, stop what you're doing, wherever you are in the world, to listen to him speak. And when he speaks he musters a stirring in your heart to want to get up and do something about all the ills of society, to right the wrong, and to stand up to the injustices of the world. Obama is one of them.

I just wish I could feel this way about politics in my own country. Pity such a personality will be a long time coming...if ever.

No comments: