It was an amazing feat. Americans turned out in record numbers and people of all kinds voted for Obama. States that had been red for a long time turned blue. I’m listening to the radio now and they were just interviewing some very conservative white farmers from a small town in the US that had always been strongly Republican. This is the demographic least friendly to Obama and yet they voted democrat. Some admitted that their families had voted Republican for generations and that they grandparents were probably turning in their graves. They admit Obama grew on them over time. They were particularly impressed with his calm maturity under pressure.
What I like about Obama is precisely that. Not only his calmness, which is a nice contrast to Bush’s volatile temper, but most importantly, I admire his capacity to bring so many different people together. The United States and the world need a leader like that. And although it sounds like empty rhetoric, he is very right to highlight the fact that a first generation, African-American man was able to be elected President of the United States is such a feat and such a message to a world marked by etnic conflict. I supported Hillary in the nomination process and wasn’t too keen on Obama. But like those American farmers, I grew to admire the man. I watched some of the debates and was very impressed by how prepared he was, how concrete his answeres were.
Obviously, being President of the United States is no easy feat and I have no illusions that Obama will be able to simply turn the US around overnight. That’s not going to happen. But he has good plans. He will get things started. And it is just good for the soul to replace a politics of fear with a politics of hope. For that alone, he would have had my vote.