It’s hard to believe the election is over. I feel privileged to be living in an era when so much change is happening, so much of it for the better of humanity. It’s easy to look at developing countries and the Middle East where people are so fighting so valiantly for really basic rights and believe that’s where all the action is happening.
But for me the US election was right up at the top there, too, although it’s manifesting in a far less violent way. America has always been at the forefront of the search for the kind of freedom that allows for a person’s rights to be respected and for their creativity and individuality to have the opportunity to flourish, whilst also contributing to community.
The balance is fine, and is a challenge for anybody to get even remotely right. In America, it’s constantly evolving as a social dynamic too. Whatever people say about this phenomenal country, nobody can deny that things are always on the move, which I think the results of this election illustrate beautifully.
Yesterday, once the results were in, CNN anchors and contributors started in like vultures on the gloom and doom. It was sickening. There was such an unwillingness to let the world celebrate something beautiful even for a day and to acknowledge what an extraordinary thing had happened. Richard Quest was like a dog with a bone about the stock markets crashing because Wall Street didn’t want Obama.
In fact, the crash had nothing to do with the election, it was a reaction to the drama in Europe, and by the end of the day it had slowed down significantly. But probably the strangest distortion was how everybody was saying that so many billions were spent on the election and nothing had changed. Everything has changed. The change in America is not about the logistics of a Democratic President still in power with a Democratic Senate and Republican Congress.
It’s about a fight for that balance in society, and for people’s rights to have it in their lives. It was about people waking up and realising how much they stood to lose if they didn’t fight. And because they did, this election has proved that the upsurge of conservatism in America was actually the death rattle of a way of life dominated by fear, greed and racism. If billions had to be spent for that to be achieved, it was money very well spent.
America will never go back from this point. The older, white conservative male Republicans, who formed the bulk of Romney’s supporters, are losing their power because minorities, younger people, and women are finding their voice. They’re passionate about their rights, passionate about their desire for a life of balance and a society that nurtures it. And unlike other countries around the world, they are not being imprisoned for it, or slaughtered.
And now they have a President who recognises that they embody the spirit of everything that once made America truly great. How can anybody say nothing has changed? Everything has changed. God Bless America for showing the world how to do it.