November 5, 2008


Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


There is not other word to define the last electoral night in the US. A black man reaching the presidency of the Country by a landslide. I was almost sure of the victory but not of the dimensions. A lot of things were coming to my mind during the night. Most of the time two great names: Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, Both of them killed forty years ago, when they were young courageous and full of ideals.

I was almost nine. But I remember very well those days, because my father was journalist, a journalist who new very well what was suffering violence in his own flesh only to tell the truth. He wanted us to know what is freedom, how to live respecting all human beings regardless of their race, ideas, just because they are human like us. I remember the day Robert Kennedy was killed, my father tipping fast in his old writing machine his column, smoking, worried. And then, answering to our simples questions as kids about what happened.

It was Bob Kennedy who said that year (1968) that in forty years the US may see a black man in the White House. He was right exactly forty years from then Obama has win the presidency. Bob Kennedy was killed that same 1968 year. Nobody knows how would be the world if he would survived, but I sure think that somehow he was able to see ahead in a way very few have the courage to do. They (he and Martin Luther King Jr.) perished only months apart, but not in vane. They are part of what we have seen last night. The same has happened in many countries no so powerful as the US. We have a lot of unknown heroes that have made us free.

Obama’s speech on election night was really something. He was taking us back to the times of ideals. And I thank him for that. It may think naive here in Europe, but I don’t care. He mentioned the falling of the Berlin’s Wall. I lived very intensely those years in both sides of Europe, and I can tell from my experience reporting that the East was calling to the West of Europe searching for help in freedom of speech, democracy and other ideals, but they found instead that the West mostly was looking at them as a new market and nothing more. It was a big disappointment for them.

Barack Obama said yesterday night that his Administration will not make that mistake he said he will offer help for this thirst of freedom if it’s wanted. Let’s hope he deliver this promise

I like these talk about ideals, Let’s do it. And then, think about how to make them real. if not now, then in the future. What’s wrong about it? What would be of the world without ideals? It will shrink in pessimism, and stop going forward.

So. It’s been a day to remember and refresh ideals, good people who struggled before us and made possible changes. In the future will be the time to see and comment about how will the new president do all he has promised. But this will be tomorrow’s job. today’s is celebrate a historic electoral night in the US.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Hi, Olga! I don’t know if you remember me but I had the pleasure of meeting you in Pamplona a couple of years ago. I am living in New York now for the past 4 months and I don’t seem to forget the first time I turned on the TV and heard Obama’s voice: It was overwhelming. Reading you makes me smile as I remember –like you do now- my first thoughts: The Kennedys. Yes, there is something in the tone of his voice that resembles those idealistic men. Men who have had the courage of disclosing that something is wrong, very wrong and needs change. Obama’s message is that: an ideal. And I am much convinced that that is exactly why he has won this election so astonishingly. We don’t know yet how is he going to make it happen, how is he “practically” going to make The Change happen but we now know for sure it is the ideal and the ideal only that has overcome the alternative practical solutions Mc Cain was proclaiming. From my seat Mac Cain’s program was mainly practical, a list of practical solutions while Obama’s most powerful speeches were those who lacked practical views.

    Maybe what I have been struggling to say is better said in this Chesterton’s quote that fall into my hands Yesterday: There has arisen in our time a most singular fancy: the fancy that when things go very wrong we need a practical man. It would be far truer to say, that when things go very wrong we need an unpractical man. Certainly, at least, we need a theorist. A practical man means a man accustomed to mere daily practice, to the way things commonly work. When things will not work, you must have the thinker, the man who has some doctrine about why they work at all.

    In my head after the quote comes the click! sound of the picture being captured. Don’t you think that quote describes exactly what just happened between Mc Cain and Obama?

    Now, all that being said I am concerned, deeply concerned that between the lines of Obama’s ideal views there is –again- something wrong. It seems to me the world is so anxiously needed of “a message” that it may somehow take any message that comes wrapped in “the ideal sounding speech”. Abortion, private property, wealth distribution, gay marriage are just some of the issues that concern me. I intend to look deeper into Obama’s administration in order to follow them up and post some comments in the future.

  2. That’s OK, let’s see what happens now. Not everybody will be happy with the new Administration, some will think it’s too slow to deliver the promises, some will think is too radical in the issues you mentioned. I’m pro life, if you read my post “a political orphan pro life” you will see who I stand in that point, but I think that some of the proposals about social security and health care and taxes for middle class I heard in his speeches are good. Precisely is that kind of things what I was saying in my post is the work for tomorrow. Let’s now take this opportunity to talk once more about ideals and think with some high standards in the future. Obama’s ideals? What about the USA’s ideals as a Country, or in my case the Christian ideals my parents leaved to me, and see how we can discuss matters looking a little higher than our shoes for the good of our children?.

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About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Americas, Ideals, World and Politics


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