Wednesday 21 January 2009

Don't worry, I'll get over it eventually (but I'll enjoy it as long as it lasts...)

"At times, Mr. Obama seemed to chastise the nation, quoting Scripture to caution that “the time has come to set aside childish things.” It seemed a call to end an age of overconsumption and the presumption that America had a right to lead the world, a right that he reminded “must be earned.
The chiding, if most resonant of the last eight years, also harked back to an argument he advanced early in his run for the White House: that the nation had been ill-served by the social, cultural and political divisions of the generation that included Bill Clinton as well as Mr. Bush.
Every time Mr. Obama urged Americans to “choose our better history,” to reject a “false choice” between safety and American ideals and to recognize that American military power does not “entitle us to do as we please,” he was clearly signaling a commitment to remake America’s approach to the world and to embrace pragmatism, not just as a governing strategy but also as a basic value.
It was, in many ways, exactly what one might have expected from a man who propelled himself to the highest office in the land by denouncing how an excess of ideological zeal had taken the nation on a disastrous detour. But what was surprising about the speech was how much he dwelled on the choices America faces, rather than the momentousness of his ascension to the presidency. "

NY Times: Rejecting Bush Era, Reclaiming Values, January 20, 2009
I was not enthusiastic about Obama during the campaign. Before he became the candidate, I wasn't even sure who to root for - Clinton or him - but I knew the important thing was beating the Republican party, not which candidate appealed to me more. But right now, a couple of hours after the Inauguration, I actually feel kind of psyched about it. I feel... hopeful? That at least, for once, the speeches I'll have to read and the discourse I'll have to follow will be on a different, higher level, one that lives up to the standards of such an important job.
For the past eight years, I remembered nostalgically Clinton's two terms. Since I was only a child back then, I don't remember them very vividly, but I know that everything did not seem as dark and unfortunate (part of the reason might be that I remember the Lewinsky-affair more than Somalia or Yugoslavia...). What matters now is action. And the first thing the Obama-administration did? Halting these ridiculous military tribunals (does anybody else get goosebumps of horror just from the words?) in Guantanamo.

Guardian: Obama requests Guantánamo Bay tribunals suspension, January 21, 2009

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