Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We've only just begun

Everyone's saying it, and I couldn't agree more - this is truly a historic day, not just for America, but for the world. I had tears in my eyes when the election was called last night. Credit where it's due too - John McCain's concession speech was graceful and dignified. Barack Obama's acceptance speech was absolutely sensational, and I was even more grateful that he gave us a harsh dose of reality when he pointed out that all we've done is give change an opportunity.

And therein lies my one concern in all of this.

Certainly, we've just witnessed something even an optimist like myself wasn't sure would happen anytime soon. A statement has been made about what this country can and should stand for, and the gauntlet has been thrown down to the rest of the world. There can be little doubt that the United States already, less than 24 hours after the election was called, projects a softer and more open face to the world. One that we can all love and learn to love. There is hope, for us, and for everyone out there.

But Barack Obama is not God. That's where I'm starting to feel like a few people have got it wrong. Not because Obama has ever suggested or implied that he is, but because people, as we tend to do, have taken things to extremes. I'm already hearing about how all our problems will be solved by Valentine's Day next year.

They won't. Obama keeps re-iterating that even one term is unlikely to fix everything. He's spot on. The question is, do the people realise that? My worst fear is that we see a backlash that brings out the worst in our country when people start to realise that instant gratification and reality are mutually exclusive for the most part.

We've set ourselves up for something truly great, but the key is to now trust in our judgement, back ourselves to the hilt, and give our leader, and ourselves, the time and space that is fundamental to bringing about change.

To borrow from my inner Dileep Premchandran, let me draw on a football analogy. Sir Alex Ferguson was brought into Manchester United to bring about change. He was hailed when he was appointed, but when he didn't deliver instant results, even some of his most ardent supporters begain to turn on him. Fortunately, the masses could not vote him out, the board understood and bought into the long term vision, and the results are there to see. The fans now hail his greatness, to a man.

Obama's Board of Directors includes you, me (once I get the paperwork completed) and every other (voting-age) citizen of this great country. Let's not make the mistake of abandoning the long term vision we've voted for. Let the foundations be built, and from that platform, the future will arise. Don't blow it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said. Am afraid of the exact same thing - in 4 years the folks (at least some of them) who elected him will start doubting why the "change" that Obama promised is not forthcoming. Not understanding that big things take time. And with senate/house/presidency all controlled by Dems, the anti-incumbency feelings may start to surface in 4 rather than 8 years. The social/politcal/economic problems this country is in will take long time to fix. Hope Obama gets at least 8 years to take a stab at it.