“New Dawn of American Leadership is at Hand”

by Roger Alford

Great speech. Amazing day. Whether or not you supported Barack Obama, one cannot deny the achievement America made last night. Martin Luther King has always been one of my heroes and I cannot help but wonder what he would have said had he lived to see this day. If there are tears of joy to shed in heaven, King is weeping right now.

For our community of readers, of course, the international angle looms large. Both Obama and McCain gave us reason to be proud last night.

To all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

Kudos to McCain for such a gracious concession speech. He fully understood the historic nature of the election:

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.

America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.

Let there be no reason now … Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

It is too early to hazard precisely how the election of Barack Obama will change our position in the world. But I think it is safe to say that the world will never perceive us quite the same again.


3 Responses

  1. Huffington Post has a great slideshow of reactions from around the world available here.  My favorite picture is the one from President-Elect Obama’s former school in Jakarta.

  2. As a former expat, I’m so grateful that we, as a country, made a decision that will help our image abroad. Here’s hoping for the future.

  3. I echo what Roger and others have said here today … as someone who indeed supported the other guy, I want to say what a tremendous day this is for the United States, and that Obama is my president too.    

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