Monday, 3 November 2008

The eyes of the World

The eyes of the World will be on the United States general election of 4th November 2008.

I chatted with a Brazilian friend of mine today, and he related that the T.V. in that country is filled with American election news, and that many in Brazil are longing for an Obama Presidency.

I sent an Obama button to an American friend of mine who lives in London, U.K. She was in Kenya recently, and related to me that grand Masai warriors grinned from ear to ear when they saw that button.

Strange as it sounds, it is still the United States of America which is a sign of hope for freedom loving people. So much rides upon our shoulders - of which we are totally unworthy.

Those who long for freedom and justice look not to China or India, nor to Russia. They look to the United States.

What a strange fate and a heavy burden for us, her citizens.

Of course I look for the election of Senator Barack Obama. He has caught the zeitgeist.

This good man gets the big picture.

I’ll be working in his Sarasota office on Election Day. Never have a felt so invested in a Presidential election.

I also chatted today with another friend who is a respected columnist for a major American newspaper.

He looks forward to an Obama landslide. I hope so much that he is right.

But it has been a shallow campaign, focused on the economy.

There have been a few words about the disastrous campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nothing has been said about the closure of the abominable prison at Guantanamo Bay; the rights of minorities; the fate of the poor and homeless; the dreadful Supreme Court; Health care; housing; or the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States.

Those of us who are Obama supporters have kept our fingers crossed that he will be “good” on these issues.

The press – T.V., Radio, Newspapers and the Internet have been dismal sources of hard news.

OPINION rules the day.

“Jack has been as good as his Master”.

Even the most stupid opinions of the “man/woman on the street” have been treated with reverence and lack of critique.

I believe that democracy is in grave danger when opinion is counted more important than facts.

So I’ll leave the last words to Roman Catholic Sister Joan Chittester.

"Ever since we began "embedding" journalists with army units, getting the whole story from any one news outlet has gotten to be more and more infrequent. Real news is getting tricky to come by as journalism traffics more in cheerleading and entertainment than it does in straight news. It isn't that we don't have need for good commentators and good columnists, both of which are by definition editorialists. It's just that we need good reporters, too -- journalists who dedicate themselves to grind out the news without editorial comment so that we can come to our own conclusions about it. Those kind of professionals are getting to be rare on the ground."

I’ll blog again after the election.


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