The Audacity of Hope

The title is usually the last thing I add to a post and in many cases the most difficult. Not this one though. As I lay awake this morning, charged but weary from 7 hours of television I had endured, I scribbled down about a dozen potential blog titles. ‘No country for old men’, ‘Choosing hope over fear’, ‘A brave new world’. None though I felt more fitting than the title of Barack Obama’s second book ‘The Audacity of Hope’. Because, as the states were tallied up last night and the magnitude of the Obama win became clear, there was no need for gloating – such as I expect the Republican voters would have revelled in – just a quiet realisation of the magnitude of the accomplishment that had come to fruition.


In his victory speech Obama uttered a simple, but telling statement, of this election campaign. He said “I was never the likeliest candidate for this office.” It’s this sort of self-effacing modesty that drew the support of people who, in past years, wouldn’t have considered voting to be a worthless endeavour. But by winning states like North Carolina or Virginia (the state in which the slave trade was founded), it is clear that the votes of the huge 75% that turned out did not go unheard, and for the first time there is truth in the statement that any boy or girl can one day become President of The United States of America.


Obama’s speech had a long list of thanks, with a particularly touching and heartfelt address to Senator McCain.

“He [McCain] fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead”

. . . which was received with applause by the watching Democrat crowd and not the endless boo’s the emanated from the bitter Republican gathering at McCain’s speech. Obama then went on to thank Joe Biden, his family and those that voted. However, I feel that Obama might have forgotten to thank perhaps the person most instrumental to his entire victory, George W. Bush.

I feel sure that without 8 years of a president leading a country into war, economic crisis and international hatred, this key moment in World history would have never taken place in such a dramatic and revolutionary fashion. With Gore or Kerry elected, perhaps many of the atrocities of the Bush administration would have been avoided and we wouldn’t find ourselves in the current predicament of international religious hate. However, after either candidate ran their term I am certain that sooner or later the Republicans would have re-entered the White House and America would have continued, all be it more slowly, in the direction of self-immolation that they have so fervently struck a match to over the past 8 years.

Now though, with an unimaginably large percentage victory and substantial gains in the senate, the Democratic Party, led by Barack Obama, can lead America in the direction that every educated man and woman has been able to imagine but not see.

The battle may be won but the war is far from over.

Obama has inherited a so called ‘poisoned chalice’ of a government, but remains undaunted. “The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.”

He bears this cross with dignity and, so far removed from George Bush, I see the conviction of a man who wants to lead a United States into a united world. In his speech he addressed “those watching from beyond our shores” stating that “our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared”. 

While Obama has engaged the interests of the world in a way that no president before him has ever done, perhaps his biggest challenge is at home.

Despite this monumental victory, America is still a nation that is shapely divided and although that divide is closing and the intolerance shrinking, there will still be a large number of people deeply unhappy with yesterday’s decision. Barack Obama has embraced these individuals of Republican persuasion, “And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.” But I fear that this plea may fall on the deaf ears of many, unwilling to help.

Even before he was elected, one assassination plot against Obama was foiled. We can only pray that those unwilling to be a part of this new world will not consider the ‘audacity of hope’ too audacious and resort to despicable methods to regain the unworthy power they were stripped of.

Even if they do though, this is no matter, because in his final words – words that could have been mouthed by Martin Luther King himself, a man who so many years ago sewed the seed for this political revolution – I witnessed the powerful oration of an individual who, despite being confronted by a planet riddled with death, destruction, poverty, famine, racism and almost endless sadness, rose through it all, against all odds and said YES WE CAN!

It is a brave new world . . . and one I am, for once, proud to be a part of.




Filed under Politics

8 responses to “The Audacity of Hope

  1. say no more.
    I hope links work in this.

  2. P Treg

    You are a man of extremes, Mitchell.

    I wanted Obama to win, America needs something different. Change is proven, as you said, by the president’s willingness to accept ‘the rest of the world’. This is because America will gradually fall from its rich super status as a world leader in our lifetime, and with Obama, this acceptance will be made easier for the American people.
    The wave of hope will soon crash into the rocks of reality; Falling markets, a failing economy, two ‘pointless’ wars and high school musical 3. It’s all kicking off.
    I guess the gulf (excuse the pun) couldn’t have been greater for electing Obama – Useless G.W.Bush, following by a 75 year old white man, whom literally was a political granddad.
    The white man has bowed out of the ring, nodding graciously to its fellow men. Hopefully that ‘genre’ of man, whom created the western world as we know it, will regain some modern credibility, and Jesus, lets hope a bullet from an assassin isn’t the first attempt.

  3. Bobby Robe

    More like ‘The Audacity to write an article that is upbeat, informative and well researched’.

    Where is the cynicism, the malevolence, the waspish charm I’ve grown so fond of?

  4. Cheggers

    I love cock

  5. fascinating cheggers, please tell me more

  6. Cheggers

    Well, it started when I was wee lad, my used to take me for long walks in the woods …

  7. Cheggers

    I see someone seems to have signed on as me and added comments pertaining to my love of all things cock.

    I would like to issue an immediate retraction of these comments. Unfortunately, I can’t.

  8. I always knew you were that way inclined Cheggers. What a way to come out-on Peggy’s surprisingly upbeat blog.

    I was still rooting for Will Smith to be the 1st Black US President, his manifesto would have been awesome.I’m sure he would have found a place in his cabinet for “Senator Jazzy Jeff.”

    Smith too has faced his share of foes. I remember the tale of a couple of guys who were up to no good,they started making trouble in Smith’s neighbourhood. He got in one little fight and his mum got scared and said “you’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air.”

    He really has triumphed over adversity.

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