Daily Ramblings - Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It touches everyone. The importance of this election is overwhelming.  The whole world held its breath.  You could feel it. Yesterday Molly and I sat in the Mango Café in Vava’u, Tonga, a pub filled with ex-pats and Tongans anxious about the future of the world.  Would there be tricks and fraud?  Would the election be stolen?  Is it all about winning at all costs or about letting the people express their choices in a true democracy?

More than an election between two candidates, this was a personal event, one where each of us confirmed that we count, that we individually make a difference.  It was about tolerance. Do we as a nation and with a worldwide view, respect and honor all people’s right to express their individual views? Do we find strength in diversity? Or is America about factions fighting to control and dictate the agenda and policy or our country and our relations in the world?

The world has seen eight years of an America where religion influenced - even set - policy and special interests were catered to.  It was a self centered time where America’s dominate military was the center of foreign policy rather than our open melting pot of individual determinism.  We projected a culture of “we have the right to our affluence” without consideration of the environmental impact or consumption orgy we are imposing on the Earth.  We have been selfish, self centered, and even insular as other countries – one-by-one, found us offensive and arrogant.

Last night that all changed!  As Barak Obama delivered his acceptance speech, Molly and I sat on an island here in Tonga and wept for joy.  Like others everywhere, we could feel the whole world begin to breathe again.  President Obama and his vision of inclusion will be embraced around the world even more genuinely than JFK was in 1960.  It is a time to celebrate the ideals of America, again.  To be proud to be American, again.  To embrace the diversity of Americans, again.  And to be humbled by the enormous needs of all people in our world community and of our Mother Earth.

Molly and Tom