Wednesday, November 05, 2008

He's not even President of my Country...

... but dang! I can't help but feel good about things today.

Watching the election coverage on TV last night was probably the best thing I've seen on the screen in years!

I remember watching Obama's speech at the Democratic national convention when he first came on the national scene and getting this inkling that there was something there that was different, fresh and empowering about him.

Every morning I pump in the morning show from KEXP (an awesome indie station in Seattle) to the kitchen and the rest of the house. This morning was just the same - the DJ, John is obviously quite pumped about the results of the election as well - as evident from the playlist of the last hour.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but he's got this way about him and delivering his message that has a calm, welcome comfort that your trust is drawn to. After last evening I'm excited for the future of America and what the impact of that future will be on the world stage.

Watching the coverage last night also made me a bit envious of the American political system in a couple of respects:

  • I'd love to be able to vote seperately for the person who is going to represent our country - he or she may be different from the party or person I'd vote for to represent my riding.

  • I admire the respect that Americans have for the office of the President. There's none of that here - although, it does make the Prime Minister seem a bit more approachable, but then again, that also feeds into a perception that the office of the PM isn't so ... important.
I guess Trudeau might have been the closest we've had to an exciting PM... Maybe one day, we'll have our Obama.

Chris popped down last evening to get tucked into bed just as Obama was about to hit the stage. We had him up with us to watch the acceptance speech. His initial reaction, once it was over, was: "it was pretty boring". I can definitely see where he was coming from at his age, but instead of doing the obvious "you'll remember this moment a few years down the road" schpeel, I went with him to bed and chatted a bit about what he just saw.

We talked a bit about two of the more prominent things surrounding this point in history - the fact that Obama is the first black President and, more importantly, that he brings a sense of hope for the US. We chatted a bit about one of the messages that he touched on in his speech - listening to and understanding people you meet without any prejudice.

I let Chris try to explain, in his own world-view, what he thought of that. He was very eloquent in applying that thinking to his own experience: how it's good to talk to people and find out why they have different ideas on how to do things - he was using a groupl of friends deciding what to play at recess as an example.

I love finding these little nuggets of wisdom from my kids. It's funny... even though he's got a textbook knowledge of the concept of racism and it's roots in American society, he definitely doesn't see skin colour as a differentiator in people. I wish people could hold on to that innocent view of the world.

He knows that he's "half-chinese", but I uncovered that he hadn't really thought about what that meant, or even cared about what made up "the other half" of his heritage. My favorite quote of the night:
"What's caucasian mean?"

"That's what I'm refered to as."

"And mommy's Chinese."


"... I don't think you're different at all."

"That's a pretty awesome observation."

"Yeah, I like knowing a lot of people and getting to know what they're like. Everyone has their own ideas and it's more fun to have lots of ideas to use than just one or two..."

I'm glad it was dark, 'cause I think I had a little tear welling up...

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