Hopeful about the election

I’ve been reading "the economist" lately – and while it comes once a week, has a lot of text and only a few pictures – it has been well worth the read. For starters, it’s expanded my grasp (still fairly tenuous) on what the REST of the world is doing.

I mean – I’m reading about the Congo, about the Chinese economy, in depth about countries in Asia, the Baltics, and more. PLUS a lot of information about what is going on in England, Germany, France, and, of course, the United States.

On top of that – the magazine is decidedly focused on economic items- so I feel like over the past two months, I’ve also started to develop a sense for what is really happening in the global economy. That’s never been a strong suit of mine – so I am appreciating the exposure (understanding is also tenuous at best!)

The writing is dense but clear, and often quite pointed. When they have an opinion, they state it clearly and then argue their side – it’s quite refreshing. No "he said, she said" no attacks – just lots and lots and lots of information and data. I think it’s made me a marginally more informed human.

It’s no surprise that they’ve been following the presidential election, and they’ve articulated the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Still – I was pleased and surprised to see Barack Obama on the cover the week prior to the election, with the headline "It’s Time".

image

It was a simple black and white photo, and the text inside was transparent, too. They argued for his sense of integrity, for his inquisitive nature, for his capacity to manage a vast campaign, for his vigor and enthusiasm. And they noted that he has less experience, hasn’t bucked the Democratic party much and so on. Still. In the midst of articulating the risk – Mr. Obama received their thumbs up endorsement.

I’m writing this post election, so we all know that he is the president elect. But I didn’t have time to read their article until after the election. It was nice to see that some of what they wrote resonated with my sense of things, too:

I’m happy that he is a strong speaker, that he knows how to organize and mobilize large groups of people, that he seems authentic (more than sincere) when he talks about hope for the future. And yet, I also understand that he doesn’t have a ton of experience. That’s okay with me – I’ll take curious and smart almost any time.

So -I’m pretty hopeful. I know that we have terrible budget troubles, that our economy is shaky, and that the level of rancor we’ve seen here at home and abroad has reached unbelievable levels. And yet – in my life, I’ve also seen:

  • The Berlin wall come down
  • The Soviet Union collapse
  • The end of apartheid in South Africa
  • The end (mostly) of the violence in Northern Ireland
  • Lake Washington become clean enough in which to swim
  • A black man elected president of the United States

That seems like a fair bit of goodness in not that many years. If Mr. Obama can add just one thing of that size to the list – I think I’ll be exceptionally well pleased.

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