poormadpeter wrote:It was purely by chance that I caught Obama's speech at teatime today, but coverage on BBC News 24 was taken over by the inauguration. There is one thing that came across more than anything to a non-US citizen, and that is that no matter whether Americans believe in his policies or not, it would be difficult to argue that the man in charge of their country was not a good man. His policies notwithstanding, his heart is in the right place, and his sincerity shines through.
Indeed - that is what came through, more than ever. He could speak freely, finally. And his goodness is most apparent. I don't know if that "little girl" really does "have the same chance" as anyone else for success in anything she chooses to work hard at and do well. Some people get lucky, AFTER working very hard and very well at trying to make their own luck. Will that change in another generation? Will it really become true? We'll see. One thing is for sure: just because ONE young man, totally obscure, a person of color, grew up to be President, does not mean all things are equal. Or that Now All Is Well. Because that's an illusion. And a hope.
It happens sometimes: Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court justice who administered the Veep's oath, also lived that story. But I saw her last night on Jon Stewart - accomplished, hard-working, smart, and I wondered why others, who worked as hard, and are just as good at what they do, are left adrift. Well, there are genuine institutional reasons why that happens, and there is much that hasn't been solved yet. Or even addressed.
There are people who have worked all their lives, sacrificed it all, are just as accomplished - but the institutional structures in which they work have foreclosed their opportunities. For most, but not all.
There's your answer.
Oh, yeah. The Prez IS hot! (Is that gray hair real? Or is going for a more "mature" look?)
P.S. -- "Teatime"? You guys still DO that? Really? (Here, it was before 9 AM, and I was sick as a dog, but I still watched it!)
poormadpeter wrote:To someone in the UK, certain things stand out as being completely the opposite of David Cameron, most notably that Obama in his speech attempted to bring his country together, whereas Cameron seems obsessed with tearing ours apart. For example:
"We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else".
I'm not so well-versed on America's current situation to know whether the above words have truth to them, and whether everyone has the same chance - such things are often in reality a pipe-dream. But it is fascinating to hear Obama even utter those words about the poorest in society being given a chance when Cameron has basically declared them the dregs of society in the UK and a bunch of scroungers. Obama also praised the "youth and drive" of his country, whereas our PM sees the youth of Britain as nothing but a bunch of no-hopers, and seems intent in putting everything he can in their way to stop them from fulfilling their potential.