A commenter in the post below referred to me as “American.” The adjective not the noun. You know what’s cool? It didn’t even occur to me to wonder if it was a snark. You know why? November 4th, 2008, that’s why.
I have always been proud of being an American. I love my country, no qualifiers. I’m not one of those Americans who sews a Canadian maple leaf to his shirt. But that being said, is there an extra swing in my usual American swagger? Yeah. You bet there is.
The first African slave stepped off a boat in what would later become the United States in 1619. (Or, “recently” as they would say here in Italy.) In 1860 (last week in Italy) we had a staggeringly bloody civil war that resulted in the end of slavery. Another 100 years (a long week-end) until we ensured legal equality for African-Americans. 40 years later: Barack Hussein Obama.
But as pleased as I am to see my country move past the idiot obsession of race, that’s not really the point of this election. In this election the American people were given a clear choice between hope and fear. We chose hope. I never doubted that we would. We had a choice between the future and the past. We chose the future.
That’s what makes Americans cool. We’re ass-deep in debt, scared, every objective indicator heading south, trapped and all but written off as a fading relic. So we take a flyer on the new kid who offers us a chance to dream again.
“American.” A compliment again.