Tuesday, January 20, 2009
It's hard being an expat today, thinking of all my friends in DC for the inauguration celebrations and wishing I was there. I feel cut off over here, but I guess that this is payment for all those times I smugly joked about hating Bush so much that I had actually left the country, like some pinko draft dodger who made a run for the border. And bragged about having universal healthcare and state maternity pay.
But it's a wonderful day.
After years, decades, of the American people being so down on their country and so resigned to disappointment in politics and government it's delightfully weird to see everyone so gaga, so starry-eyed and hopeful about the future and drunk on goodwill to all men.
My country has turned into a Frank Capra movie. And I wish I was there to experience it, because the milk of human kindness has a short shelf-life. The same press that lionized Obama could turn on him at the first shaky decision or PR gaffe. He's won a questionable prize: leadership of a country with problems that would take the ablest of leaders years to begin to fix. How long will people give him?
Still, I'm going to try to put these worries aside and just relish the joy while it's here. Sometimes the good guys win, and sometimes they get the chance to make things better. Let's be hopeful while we can.