I don’t want to turn this blog into a big Obama gush-a-thon, so I’ve been keeping my mouth pretty well clamped on the new leader of the world. I know he’s going to do some shit things that make me rage. It goes with the territory.
All the same, the man has been behaving like a demi-god in his first couple of days. Banning torture for a start. Who would have thought a few years ago that this would be a ground-breaking act? But then, the zeitgeist shifted and suddenly opposition to torture became somehow weird. Obama has just turned the clock back to sanity. He’s made it so that “extraordinary rendition” can become no longer “ordinary.”
That in itself is enough for me to let him get away with a hell of a lot. But, he has even stepped up to the plate (strange American phrase that is becoming ubiquitous in UK discourse, although none of us know what it means, so I’m using it ironically) again in terms of stopping that mad ban on funding for agencies that counsel women who want abortions.
I am a bit pissed off that European media seem to be so determinedly racist though. The inauguration day reports here were pretty well written all in terms of what it means to have a “black” president. As if being “black” and wearing a suit were the crucial factors in leading the world.
Well, yes, it’s great, but (1) Obama is – like everybody on the planet – “mixed race” and (2) he was elected by Americans of every supposed “race” – totally spurious concept – not because of his visible attributes but because he is the best human being for the job. Total respect to the US population for seeing that. He is the most truly intelligent man to be elected president in my lifetime.
So: USA 1 Europe 0, so far.