Imagine a World That Likes Us (It’s Easy If You Try)
September 21st, 2008
Actually, it might be hard to imagine right now. Though it wasn't right after 9/11--we had the world standing beside us after that day. Of course, it didn't take us long to kill that dead. All it took was the Iraq War and the inconceivably idiotic manner of taking anyone who didn't agree with us and mocking them or calling them cowards, enemies, or worse. Those were the days of freedom fries, and Americans traveling overseas had to start pretending to be Canadians. And McCain is just more of the same; it is doubtful that he'll instill worldwide confidence in our country again. Obama, he's a different story. Look at his reception in Germany. You think McCain could have pulled in that crowd there? Hell, no. That's why McCain complained; he said the media was giving unfair coverage to Obama because when he had done the same kind of thing, it wasn't covered so much--except McCain hadn't done the same kind of thing as Obama--despite all his "experience," he just doesn't inspire admiration or confidence in people around the world. McCain couldn't get those crowds, McCain couldn't have gotten the Iraqi leader to go along with his hundred-year strategy... but Obama is more in tune with the rest of the world. And the rest of the world loves him. Even here in Japan, it's "Yes, I love Obama!" and "McCain who? Oh yeah, the other guy." Granted, it's not through understanding of his exact platform; granted, a lot has to do with his race. But that's more relevant in the rest of the world; one of America's long-standing icons of arrogant dismissal of the rest of the world has to do with race, with color. That America would vote for a man of color as our leader is far more significant than most Americans understand. It's a signal to the world that we are truly ready for change. And that idea has excited the world. Brazil is just one example. Under that country's election laws, politicians can register under any name they wish. As a result, there are now six Barack Obamas running for various levels of office around the country. The article didn't say how many John McCains there are, but it's a safe bet that there are fewer than six. Maybe five or more fewer. Call it a matter of race, call it a popularity contest, call it a negative backlash against Bush. But after this administration pissed away the whole world's good will and trashed it so thoroughly as to be virtually unrecoverable, the ability to recover that good will and once again be respected by the world is no small gain. Many conservatives, being isolationist and/or nationalistic, might snort and dismiss such an idea. But it is worth an incredible amount to us, and anyone who dismisses it is, shall we simply say, unwise.