I can't help myself. I've been watching the beginning of the Democratic National Convention from afar. I always turn on CNN while I'm getting ready for work which allows me to see the 11 p.m. eastern U.S.A. news. This morning, following on yesterday morning (26 August), gave me great hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Michelle Obama's and Hillary Clinton's speeches were some of the most powerful I've seen on TV. Michelle's was particularly authentic, deep, and inspirational. Hillary followed with a clear and unequivocal message - how could those who supported her even consider not voting for Obama? It's not about Hillary! It's about the issues and the future of the U.S.A. and its role in the global community.
I will be voting absentee as we hope the nine million ex-patriots living abroad will do. I haven't traveled around the globe, although over the last year I've traveled to Canada, central Europe, and the Middle East. Hope is swelling throughout the rest of the world that the U.S.A. will return to its place as a democratic model rather than a military force. Citizens of other countries, even in places where they don't have the rights and privileges that Americans enjoy, are hoping for a return to a course of modeling the way and diplomacy that will improve the conditions of people throughout the world. I have not encountered anyone abroad who hasn't embraced the hope that Barack Obama brings.
Lest the world's enthusiasm be used against Obama in the upcoming campaigning by McCain, it is absolutely critical than citizens of the U.S.A. realize that globalization is about the shared needs and interdependence of all, rather than the "us against them" rhetoric of the "war on terrorism." Naive - I don't think so. When you live abroad, you see the needs, the struggles, and you see the disappointment when the U.S.A. falls short of its values. The fact that other nations are cheering for Obama is not cause for pause or suspicion, as I anticipate the Republican party will assert. The cheering from abroad is from a heart-felt yearning to see the U.S.A. return to the role of a guide for change in the knowledge-based society of the 21st century. With the rise of the economic dominance of Asia, South America, and the Middle East, it is clear that the U.S.A. is not the preeminent economy of the world - there's no way to reverse that flow. The U.S.A. has to find another way to influence the world other than its economic and military power.
The spontaneous cheering at last night's Democratic National Convention, "Four more months," and Hillary's introductory statement combine to say it all...