十一 07 2008

英语阅读 Bush and Obama

Published by at 21:56 under 英语阅读

今天 Alexander Chancellor 的专栏文章把布什比作一个小孩把自己的玩具全部砸烂后,让另一个小孩接着玩。

Bush is like a child who has smashed up his toys inviting another to come and play in his nursery
Alexander Chancellor

“Go enjoy yourself,” said President Bush in his congratulatory telephone call to Barack Obama on election night. It was like a child who has just smashed up all his toys inviting another to come and play in his nursery. To inherit two wars and a broken economy would not be most people’s idea of fun. But that’s pig-headed Bush for you.

His remark made me brood about the trials that Obama will face as president and the sad likelihood of disappointed expectations. Even yesterday, with his first proposed appointments, a question mark was raised over his promise of “change”. For Rahm Emanuel and John Podesta, the men he wants as chief of staff and head of his transition team, are Clinton veterans and combative, partisan politicians who don’t seem right for the “new politics” with which Obama has said he wants to bring Democrats and Republicans together. But then we still don’t really know what he means by “change”.

The one unquestionable and exciting change that this election has already wrought is simply his own elevation to the presidency. This is not so much because Obama is an African-American, but because he is a one-man melting pot whose complex family background makes him an ideal leader of such an ethnically diverse nation. An all-black descendant of slaves would too easily have been seen as representing just one ethnic minority. Being of mixed race, Obama is in a position to garner the support of everybody.

I confess to being an Obama maniac who finds reassurance not only in his internationalist background and attitudes but also in his calm, unruffled and reflective character. I can’t imagine anyone better to steer us through the troubled waters ahead. This is so even if “change” turns out to be no more than an empty slogan.

Given the size of Obama’s election victory, it seems strange now that millions of his supporters were anxious until the end that he somehow wouldn’t make it. In reality, it has been clear for months that he was likely to win; and even in the immediate aftermath of the “Palin bounce”, Bill Clinton (who, as Obama said at the time, “knows a little something about politics”) predicted that he would win “pretty handily”. There was really very little to fear. By the same token, we should now stay calm and keep hope alive. We face turbulent times that will doubtless rock Obama’s presidency along with the rest of us, but I can find no reason to fear that he will let us down.

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