Thursday, November 06, 2008

There are times that I miss being in the US---in the autumn when the seasons change, in the winter when I miss a real winter, during some holidays---but I really feel like I am missing out on something big after the election yesterday. I rarely listen to post election victory speeches, but Obama's was worth hearing yesterday.

Like Mark Shields said on the Jim Lehrer Newshour this afternoon on BS NHK, I feel hope more than expectations, but still I wish I were there to get a full sense of what is happening. (It always amazes me that people who have never been to the US for more than a quick are able to confidently feel that they know so much about the country from reading the NYT or watching Michael Moore/Oliver Stone movies.*)

There are many reasons that Obama's election should be good for the US, but one of my favorites is that the right-wing in Japan apparently did not like Obama. Although this was not the main reason I voted for him, it gave me a special sense of pleasure knowing that in some small way I could piss them. In some small way other than being a non-Japanese living in Japan who does not fall for the pure, Innocent Japan nonsense that many of the more extreme espouse.

*Love that fact that some of these folks, Japanese and not, who explained to me such things as the US would "never elect a black man" have been proven, yet again, wrong. Hmmm. Perhaps things aren't as simple as one could be led to believe on a diet of newspaper editorials & opinion pieces. D'ya think, J? Well, try this one:

There is another paradox about the world’s view of the election of Mr. Obama: many who are quick to condemn the United States for its racist past and now congratulate it for a milestone fail to acknowledge the same problem in their own societies, and so do not see how this election could offer them any lessons about themselves.

(Of course the quote above would not in any way apply to Japan.)

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