Turn of the Tide

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve been struggling with what to post on the recent election.  But, I just got off the phone with a friend in the UK who was more enthusiastic about Obama than I was, and I voted for him!  And, then Bill B. forwarded this article by William Kole who got a kiss from a stranger on the train in Vienna because he’s American. 

So, I realized that after spending 21 months immersed in this election, I lack perspective.  And, while I’m relieved that Obama was finally elected, I haven’t had a sense for how huge this is.  Looking at the election from the outside, whether you’re a foreigner or an expatriate, it’s obvious.

Along these same lines, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column three weeks ago titled “Rebranding the US with Obama” about a conversation he had with a friend in Beijing:

She: Obama? But he’s the black man, isn’t he?

Me: Yes, exactly.

She: But surely a black man couldn’t become president of the United States?

Me: It looks as if he’ll be elected.

She: But president? That’s such an important job! In America, I thought blacks were janitors and laborers.

Me: No, blacks have all kinds of jobs.

She: What do white people think about that, about getting a black president? Are they upset? Are they angry?

Me: No, of course not! If Obama is elected, it’ll be because white people voted for him.

[Long pause.]

She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!

We are at the lowest ebb.  The tide is turning.  What an amazing country, indeed.

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