Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Long-Awaited End of An Era

Well, the day the whole world has prayed for and eagerly awaited for eight years finally comes tomorrow - the end of the Bush administration. Let's all take a moment tonight to toast the fact that we survived, more or less, some of us anyway, and toast the departure of the worst president in American history and the arrival of a new president who can hardly help but be much better.

I don't have great hopes that Barack Obama is going to take the bold progressive steps that are really needed in the dire international situation we're in, but the world now has a slightly enhanced chance of survival, and that's something to be thankful for, at any rate.

On the federal holiday designated for the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, we can also give thanks that tomorrow also represents the long-awaited end of another era --- the one where many people of color believed there were certain offices in this country that were off-limits to them. Now, this does not mean that the problem of racism is gone. Tomorrow's triumph is in that sense mostly symbolic, but at least I think it will inspire young kids growing up today to set their sights a bit higher than they might have otherwise.

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