Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Turning Point In History

Sometime after 3am last night here in Buenos Aires we watched live over the internet Barack Obama give his acceptance speech for President of the United States of America. After a measly 4 hours of sleep I'm still trying to take in all that happened. We as a nation elected our first black president. Regardless what anyone's political views are, we have all together as a nation walked through a door in history and passed yet another milestone in overcoming the racial injustices that have haunted our country's shadow for so long. And that alone is something to celebrate. And celebrate we did (and are).

We've crossed over into another time. From today on our nation will never be the same. Not only have we taken a step further beyond color, but we have emphatically said 'no more' to what the current administration has done to our country. It's been so long, and as I take a deep breathe and exhale, it is my old friend 'optimism' that refills my lungs.

I can say first hand living abroad here in Argentina that it was not just US citizens that were pulling for Obama over these last few months. We have taken an enormous step forward with redeeming ourselves in the international community. When I walked these South American streets today, being an American meant something different than it did 24 hours ago. And that put a smile on my face.

I bid you farewell George Bush. You are my President no more...

The newspapers today in Buenos Aires.

We hosted an Election Party last night. It was an awesome time. There is nothing like walking through history with a group of 30 or 40 friends. In attendance was not just Americans living abroad, but Peru, Australia, Canada, Argentina, and England were all represented as well. All were curious. Throughout the night people could be found huddled around the TV broadcasting live in Spanish, or the computer streaming live in English. No point seemed more moving though then when Obama gave his acceptance speech. The diehards that had lasted until three thirty in the moring all stood huddled around the computer in complete silence, entrenched in our new President's every word.

I made it to bed some time after 4:30am and awoke 4 hours later to a blazing sun and a monumental collection of wine and bear bottles. A night to celebrate indeed.

Currently Listening To:
The collective voice of America.


Echevarria said...

I tried to write something funny here but it got ugly, so I deleted it and wrote this.

Anonymous said...

I am still a supporter of President Bush and always will be. People have a short memory and forget the hand he was dealt. I don't recall him campaigning about terrorist attacks during the 2000 campaign. There are even those who think 9-11 is a thing of the past. Have we been attacked since?...NO!! Does President Bush get any credit for this?...NO!! Weren't Americans originally for the war in Iraq by a 75-25 margin?....YES.

Let's talk about the rest of the world. How many billions of dollars did President Bush send to Africa to fight AIDS? Billions more than we spend on our poor and homeless. What about the money that we gave to tsunami and earthquake victims in foreign countries. We can always find money to help them out but who really cares about those good deeds, right? Frankly, I don't care if the citizens of France and countries in South America dislike us because of our President. All I care about is the safety of my family and the freedom that being an American provides me.

I didn't cut and run from this country. I am still here. I didn't vote for Obama but I will support him because he is my President for the next four years. I just pray that he can fulfill the cult status that he has created. Take Care.

Steve F Taylor

Jimmy Danko said...

You can defend President Bush all you want, but the sun will never rise on a day when I do so.

I don't think Americans would have supported the war as much as they did were they not given false information from Bush and administration officials regarding the threat Iraq posed on us. They drowned our country in fear. What purpose would an 'orange terror alert' serve accept to strike fear in the ordinary American going about there daily business. And if the majority was originally for the war, does that make the war justified? It is the responsibility of those in charge to tell us when military action is justified. Our failure came in our trust. What about how we couldn't even keep our troops adequately equipped? What about Halliburton or Alberto Gonzonlez? Yes, how quickly we forget.

I'm not denying the fact that we sent aid to Africa or disaster victims, but the good we do for others does not grant us immunity from the failed responsibilities of helping our own, such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We must hold ourselves to higher standards than that. This administration boasts its international aid and delivery of democracy to other countries, yet three years later you can walk through the Ninth Ward of New Orleans and it still looks post-apocalyptic. (At least is did a few months when I walked through it.)

The world is getting smaller everyday my friend and if we cared more about what other countries thought of us our families would be safer. Safety is rooted in trust and communication, not in war and higher walls.

When you say 'cut and run from this country' I'm not sure who you're referring to. We just arrived here in July, six months before the end of the administration I have disdain for. Do I wish I could have left earlier? Hell yeah, but it has nothing to do with Bush or America. I love my country and no won can ever take than away from. I do have intense burning desire to see the rest of the world though. To travel and live abroad. As Mark Twain says, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Sure there are people who left because of Bush, but I don't know one personally. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are working and living abroad all over the world, but that doesn't make them less American or have less of a love for their country. Nor is it less patriotic to speak out against our country. Our voices were granted freedom hundreds of years ago to help keep our government in check. If I have learned anything in the last 8 years it was that speaking out against it is no less patriotic than speaking in unison with. It is collectively how we all move forward. A balance.

Thank you for sharing your comments. While I may not agree, I am thankful for you taking the time to share them and appreciate the exchange.


Anonymous said...

I too appreciate your comments. That is what is so great about being an American. We can agree to disagree and usually share a drink over this type of discussion. Cheers.

Steve F Taylor

P.S. Travel Safe