A Day Of Rejoicing For The Empire By Gaither Stewart

Gaither Stewart
by Gaither Stewart
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Nov 5, 2008

(Paris: November 5, 2008)

“Today we’re all Americans.” As after 9/11 those same incredible words echoed from the pages of France’s Le Monde this morning. Today, the day after, media of France and Italy (and assuredly of the rest of the world except Israel and a couple client dictatorships) competed with each other in praise of American democracy where “anything is possible”. The race barrier has fallen. Honor to the USA. For many non-Americans, the French press writes, Obama’s victory reflects what America has long meant for the rest of the world. Obama President is a return to America’s origins. The renewal of a promise.

In a 16-page Libération Edition Spéciale of the morning after, Laurent Joffren began his editorial with these words: “Finally hope! Please, for one hour, for one day, let’s don’t act blasés, prudent sceptical. After this already historic November 4 let’s admit that we were all taken with a sense of happiness. For one hour or one day let’s allow enthusiasm speak, that which is spreading across the planet…. It suffices to imagine for a moment the opposite outcome: a stiff, conservative Senator flanked by an ignorant mystic taking over for four years the brutal policies of George W. Bush. A moral nightmare, a political horror film.”

For Europe it’s the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream and the burial of the Reagan era. For European media in general the fact that a Black can become President of the USA makes that nation again great.

And above all it is a sense of relief.

Pravda writes: Only Satan would have been worse than the Bush regime. Eight years of hell are over after the great American soap opera … the most scandalous, dramatic unpredictable and the most expensive electoral campaign in US history.

On election day I realized I personally had heard no European who favored John McCain. No one. Paris’s Libération, a leftwing daily, predicted in advance that American whites would vote Democrat as never before. In Italy only Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his cronies and supporters are disappointed, and certainly disillusioned.

Obama fascinates both Left and Right in France. Le Monde described Obama as a “brilliant candidate, intelligent, elegant, handsome, sincere and never aggressive,” qualities French admire. A political analysts from Sarkozy’s UMP (Union For A Popular Movement – Union Pour un Mouvement Populaire) concentrated his attention on Obama “the brilliant actor” who understands that the secret is to make of politics a spectacle, a show. “Obama’s organization is almost military. Political analysts in Paris refer in admiration of Obama’s trademark, his brand name, and a prerequisite for success in modern politics.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s staff labels Obama’s electoral campaign an “inspiration.” With the President’s popularity falling and next elections in 2012 already in mind, has been studying Obama’s electoral campaign as the model for French conservatives.

Soaring European stock markets on election eve reflected the elation and expectations pervading Europe, pervading the empire. Already on the day after cold realities returned as markets fell back. Europeans note that the economic and financial crisis riddling America imposes profound change. Just as Americans, Europeans realize that life in a paper economy must end. Laissez-faire and eternal debt have reached the limit. Socio-economic life without limits is beyond the realm of reason and possibility.

Though the election of an African-American to the White House marks a social change, a welcome message to the rest of the world, it also unlocks and throws open the door to discussion of the question of the future of capitalism as we know it.

Gaither Stewart, a Senior Contributing Editor and European Correspondent for Cyrano’s Journal, is a veteran reporter, raconteur, and essayist on historical and cultural topics. His observations, often controversial, are published on many venues across the web. His collections of fiction, Icy Current Compulsive Course, To Be A Stranger and Once In Berlin are published by Wind River Press. (www.windriverpress.com). His recent novel, Asheville, is published by Wastelandrunes, (www.wastelandrunes.com). He resides in Rome, with his wife Milena.


Barack Obama Acceptance Speech Nov. 4, 2008

Election Returns (links) + Obama wins + McCain Concession Speech

Between Hope and Reality – An Open Letter to Barack Obama By Ralph Nader

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse


7 thoughts on “A Day Of Rejoicing For The Empire By Gaither Stewart

  1. Pingback: Obama will want more European soldiers to fight in Afghanistan + Indian Army officer arrested over bomb attack « Dandelion Salad

  2. Sent to DS from Gaither Stewart:

    For Kim Chi,
    The point of the brief article was to report the rejoicing out in the empire at the victory of “its” candidate, Barack Obama. Obama was favored in much of the world. Most certainly the reaction would have been dramatically different if McCain had won, who was favored only by a small right wing minority. The empire peoples from East and West celebrated. But I believe people’s hopes for real change will not be realized, cannot be realized, by Obama simply because he is intelligent and black. For the same people who put Bush in place also placed Obama … and the candidacy of McCain too. People have been duped into believing in radical change. It cannot happen. Therefore the inevitable disappointment will cause even more cracks in the capitalist system and doubts about its efficacy for world society. It is a question of system, not the person in the White House.
    Thanks for writing.
    Gaither Stewart.

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  4. It seems that the only thing remarkable about Obama is that he is a person of color. There is nothing else listed he4re fore the undue enthusiasm for Barack Obama who went by the name Barry in high school and at Harvard.

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  7. I’m not exactly sure why an Obama victory “unlocks and throws open the door to discussion of the question of the future of capitalism as we know it.”

    Surely this would be going on even if McCain had won? It’s not as if Obama has a radically different perspective on this matter—both Obama and McCain voted in favor of the bailout package.

    And if this really will prompt a frank assessment of the future of capitalism, why is this then a “day of rejoicing” for the Empire?

    Overall, I think this was a very confused article. It’s not clear to me exactly what the writer is trying to say.

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