Four years ago, the day after the re-election of George W. Bush, I wrote this while trying to make sense of the previous evening’s events:
I firmly believe that just over half of those who voted (and those who did not vote who were complicit by their absence) had looked square at the past four years, an era that will, within a single generation, be regarded as a black mark on their nation’s history, and said “Again. Let’s do it again.” I believe they were either hopelessly ignorant, or were more corrupted by their own politics than I could have imagined.
I simply could not reconcile this with what I knew of America. This was a country that had made itself the lone remaining superpower. This was the country of equality and victorious war and comedy and science and cultural ubiquity and remarkable turnarounds. This was a country that had more than once looked at itself in the mirror, hated what it saw and led bloody revolution against its own prejudices and problems. This was my country’s constant ally, closest business partner and friend of a century. This was a country I’d visited often, where I was equally struck by Texas hospitality and the vitality of New York. Whatever concerns I had with the politics of the land — and I had many — I always counted on the people who lived there to make right what had so obviously gone wrong, as ever they had. But, in the end, it was obvious only to me…and, I suppose, to just fewer than 60 million American voters, as Mr. Bush and his administration had indeed been given another four years in power.
Last night a bit of my faith was restored. It remains to be seen what #44 does with the next four years, but at the very least he’d have to work awfully hard to be worse than #43.
Congratulations, America. That sound you hear? That’s the rest of the world patting you on the back and welcoming you back to the party.
[Image via Spacing]