November 5, 2008 was a day the world roared in approval and postmodern thanksgiving that finally – finally! – things were going to change.
As Obama himself said during his presidential campaign, the U.S. was going to start caring “for the sick and [giving] good jobs to the jobless,” the planet was going to heal, wars would end and America would once again be seen “as the last, best hope on earth.”
South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo called it “a great day.” “Clearly,” he said, “an Obama administration will be less ideological.”
“I really think this is going to change the world,” Akihiko Mukohama gushed in Japan.
And Jason Ge of China marveled how “America is a diverse, multicultural society where the color of your skin really does not matter” after all.
A gleeful MSNBC further reported:
“In concert halls and ballrooms, in plazas and at beach parties, people across the globe hailed Barack Obama’s election as a stroke for racial equality and voiced hopes his presidency would herald a balanced, less confrontational America.
“Throngs crowded before TVs or listened to blaring radios for the latest updates. In Sydney, Australians filled a hotel ballroom; in Rio, Brazilians parties on the beach. In the town of Obama in Japan, dancers cheered in delight when their namesake’s victory was declared.”
According to those celebratory millions, hope and change had come.
The Audacity of Thinking Hope and Change Are Ever That Easy
But fast-forward to today, when Sarah Palin’s question of “How’s that hopey-changey thing comin’ for ya?” makes much more sense than celebrating. Because far from the new world order Obama promised, the U.S. is still hated, disparaged and disliked.
Far from romancing the Muslim world, Obama has angered militant Islamists just as much as Bush ever did. Admittedly, that’s unavoidable unless we want to commit mass suicide, but our current President still promised it was possible. He shouldn’t be given a free pass just because it was a stupid guarantee in the first place.
And it was inexcusably arrogant.
No matter how much the U.S. press would like to think otherwise, it’s no big surprise that Osama bin Laden wanted to kill Obama anymore than that an Irish Muslim has been arrested for threatening to do the same now that Obama killed Osama.
Nor is it shocking that Australian press personnel are still mocking the U.S. for our military actions, calling us “secretive and shabby.” Or that even here in America, we continue to blanket ourselves in such shame over who we are and what we’ve done that we ban school children from displaying pictures of the American flag because it might offend somebody.
Obama never was the great hope that people worldwide worshipped him as. Hope and change are ever that easy.