Hope, Happiness and History


I am not American.  The result of the presidential election therefore, was not within my control.  I didn’t get a vote.  And until recently, I must admit, I didn’t think the general American public capable of bringing a good man to the presidential election.  Following their speeches tonight, my guess is that this year, they brought two good men. 

two-good-men1I watched President Obama’s speech in a staff room surrounded by Journalism and PR academics.  They viewed his presentation with the calculating eyes of people used to analysing and deconstructing such performances.  At one stage when President Obama spoke of his wife, as “my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next first lady” a colleague was muttering “Listen to the cadence of that speech.  It’s perfect.” Another whispered “My what an orator.” 

I don’t know that it was the cadence that made me cry though.  I think perhaps my tears were more about hope than cadence.  Hope on the faces of the people in the crowds.  Hope in the hearts of people of the world because America finds itself with a young, strong, vibrant leader.  Hope in the eyes of President flbObamaInOut23mObama himself as he spoke of his dreams. And imagine the hope in the hearts of African-Americans.  To have emerged from slavery and into the presidency.  Truly now, it must seem for them, that anything is possible.  For them it must feel that the entire world is bigger, brighter and more laden with opportunity than they have ever seen it before. 

Then there was John McCain.  A fine speech.  Perhaps not as perfect.  Perhaps not as dynamic.  But certainly dignified, respectful  and honourable.  Such was his speech that he also offered hope.  Hope for the cessation of the petty bickering and mudslinging that has typified American politics for so long.  Hope that honourable behaviour, even in the face of loss, is possible.  Hope that fine human beings do still enter politics.hope

I think that’s why I cried.  Because hope is something that will move people to tears.  I read somewhere recently, that there are simple ingredients for happiness “something to do, something to love and something to hope for”. That is precisely what this election has brought the American people. 


4 responses »

  1. beautifuly written. my thoughts exactly. I also am not an american, though sat up all night watching the election and was moved to tears.

    A great moment in history occurred and i felt honoured to be witnessing it. This momumental day offers us all a fine example of what we are all are capable of achieving when we stand up and be counted.

    brilliant result, not only for america but for our entire world.

  2. Don’t disagree with you Bec, but as the inherent analyst that I am, how did these seekers get to Indonesia in the first place?? …that’s one for your research babe. Personally, I think it likely that the people smugglers are back in business and rubbing their hands in glee, time will tell…

    Hope you’re going well Bec, I’ve just got back from Canberra and might be up your way next week. Will let you know…take care jnr
    goldie 🙂 xx

    • Don’t know how they got to Indonesia, probably the same way they got to our shores. I do know that Indonesia didn’t sign the Convention the way we did, so nobody can seek asylum in Indonesia. You’re almost certainly right about the people smugglers, but then whom do we seek to punish? People who are already victims? The media haven’t mentioned a word about people smugglers so it would seem we seek to victimise the victims…am I right?
      Be good if you came up. I’ve not got a lot on. Don’t bring your Canberra clothes though. Bring your togs and…cotton stuff!

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