I didn’t vote for Obama, and I don’t think he can possibly fulfill the promises he’s made or the country’s and world’s expectations. That said, I do love my country, and I’ll do what I did in 2000, when my guy lost, continue to love and feel proud of my country and respect the office of the president, if not the man himself.
But who knows? Maybe Obama will be the agent of change that everyone seems to believe him to be. Maybe our having our first African American president will make a difference. It seems to have already. As I look at the media coverage of the people dancing in streets and crying with joy all over the world, I’m totally touched and incredibly humbled.
I, for one, want to see him succeed. It can only damage this country to its core if he fails or if he doesn’t measure up to everyone’s expectations. I worry, though, that those expectations are so exaggerated, so out of touch with reality, that he can’t possibly meet them. Sigh.
A couple things are clear, though, and very positive. Obama has broken through long-standing racial barriers, and with any luck at all, he’s going to wipe away some of the pain of the past in so doing. Maybe he’ll also inspire people of all races to work harder, to aim for more, to stop allowing themselves to be perpetual victims. That would be nice.
Obama has also wiped away some of the anger the world feels toward us, and that has to be a good thing. Maybe he’ll be able to do what no other American president has and bridge some of the distances between peoples of the world. Maybe he’ll be able to inspire peace and break through some of the deep-seated anger and resentment that fosters acts of terrorism against our country and its people.
Maybe he can.