Free at last, free at last …

That is not in reference to the plight of African Americans. It is in reference to the plight of all Americans.

George W. Bush finally got the celebrating in the streets he sought to commemorate the fall of tyranny in Bagdad. Except the celebration wasn’t in Bagdad, it was outside his front yard at the White House this week. Like a country liberated, Americans took to the streets in a jubilant, spontaneous celebration coast to coast.

Americans revel on Pennsylvania Ave. after Obama victory

Liberated from tyranny, Americans revel on Pennsylvania Ave. after Obama victory

Obama’s win was not a victory for African Americans, it was a victory for all Americans and for the ideals of democracy and citizen involvement that our government is based on.

The day after the election when I walked out my front door (I was in India at the time) I felt something I haven’t felt in over a decade: proud to be an American. Proud of the choices that other American’s and I made together. It felt good. What a difference a day makes.

And Americans weren’t the only one’s dancing in the streets. I’ve been looking into the response around the world. People abroad have been caught up in the drama of the US campaign and are as inspired as any American over the outcome (in many cases more involved in the US race than in their own local political contests).

An editorial by Arindam Chaudhuri I read in an Indian newspaper today said “I have never felt like saying this in the past, but I can say it today — Long live America! … Thank you Barack Hussein Obama. I haven’t celebrated the victory of any Indian leader ever — but I celebrate Barack Obama’s victory.”

Did it take a presidency as dark as George Bush’s to create the foil against which Barack Obama could shine so bright? If so, it is among a very precious few things that the world can thank George Bush for. I’m just glad to see America’s global beacon of hope reignited, and proud to be American.


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