In 1997 — before I got the job back in Cambridge — I was travelling up and down to lecture: and I happened to be here the morning after the Blair victory. And, a bit bleary-eyed from a late night in front of the election results show, I bumped into a friend in town on a lovely morning and we sat outside a café drinking coffee and thinking how much better the world seemed. We knew Blair was an unprincipled opportunist, but he was — so to speak — our unprincipled opportunist, and there were, we hoped, enough decent people around him to keep things on track. That was, it turned out, wildly over-optimistic.
It is easy to lose heart. And perhaps (I wish I could say “unbelievably”) 56 million Americans did just vote to try to put an egregious cartoon character within a heartbeart of the presidency. But, at least for today, let’s be a bit optimistic again.
5 thoughts on “Yes we can … can’t we?”
In hindsight, do you feel just as strongly as you did in 1997?
It has been a very depressing time to be an American. It is hard for us to express how happy we are to have good (not perfect or ethereal) leadership on the way.
I’m 38, and have never seen these spontaneous celebrations after an election in the US. Every city in was overrun with ecstatic people. I think there is a contrast effect here. After being in a dark room for a long time, it doesn’t take much light to get a strong reaction.
Clearly Obama screwed up on purpose at his first press conference, to bring some of his more rabid supporters down to Earth. Yep. He’s just that good.
Yes, I find that these are accurate thoughts.
Hopefully the number of Americans willing to do such things is decreasing!
As usual, Mimi Smartypants puts it neatly:
Agreed. Let’s file this under ‘glasses half full’. Cheers. ST