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Happiness pursued

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Assigned keywords: Weblog, Weltpolitik

I stayed up last night as late as 4 am, until I finally decided that I could sleep well enough. When I got up, I fired up the machine and saw the landslide result: what victory! No Supreme Court, no Diebold Conspiracy Theory could do harm to that. And I felt that eight long years where over, and so I loaded "Klaus Doldinger - Heimkehr" (Das Boot) into Winamp and yelled in deep joy. Yes, so I did, and then I went to the office and brought a bottle of Champagne along. I had promised sparkling wine to some colleagues should Obama win, but out of joy I decided that historic moments happen that often in life and having my feeling of humiliation from 2004 cleansed called for Champagne.

I felt relief going through commenters, colleagues, US-voters, Republicans and Democrats alike. Well, even Bush felt somewhat relieved to me. It is as everyone is tired of the negative messages, tired of hating, as if people grasp for an opportunity to hope again. If Bush would have been eaten up by the yearly Turkey at the White House, I would not have been content. Someone would just have followed up to declare that all Turkeys must be battled, here and elsewhere. The Republicans dominated the US and by that, the world, with negative messages during the last eight years: we have to fight terrorism, else. We have to fight homos, else. We have to fight evolution theory, else. On the other side, liberal pundits reiterated continuously how Bush and his "cronies" ruined the country and that we, err, they would probably end up in some kind of Christian State ruled by Halliburton where abortion, homosexuality and the theory of evolution is outlawed. Obama began spreading positive messages, and his whole speech about his victory follows that trail - we can achieve. It seems that the "Winner takes all"-attitude of the past is gone.

Within DER SPIEGEL, the most important news magazine in Germany, a writer explained that Germans long for Obama because they're actually fed up with Anti-Americanism. Yes, I can tell you, I'm fed up. I'm fed up with all these debates whether I'm an enemy of the free world just because I criticize how the US handled Iraq, but I'm equally fed up with people painting the US as the prime evil in the world. I just want to get over with all this "who's not for us is against us"-rhetorics which has infected so many people of all sides. And even I want to speak with the next American citizen I meet about, say, the new Bond movie instead of first having to try to find out whether he's a "Bushist" or not.

Actually, I'm far from being an Anti-American. I think that to some extent, America is great. I regard freedom and individuality as a high value, if not the highest, and I do not forget that the US, regardless of all her failures, was the first nation on Earth to put "the pursuit of happiness" into her constitution Declaration of Independence. The US existed as a means to the people and not vice versa, as it is unfortunately the rule within human societies. It was the endangerment of these achievements that enraged me, and it made me detest those who did it, but not the US as such, at least not the ideal of the US.

The second thing is that I realized that if the US should fall into the darkness of tyranny, freedom as such and in the EU would be in grave danger. Even now, the majority of the world's nations aren't what I would call liberal democracies.

Third, there's a saying in Germany - we import everything from the US, good things as well as bad. And certainly there have been some bad habits in the past eight years which we have adopted - the evergoing Fear of Terror and the mindless deregulation of markets. But was have been even worse was that many people began to adopt a dualistic view, painting opponents as incarnations of pure evil only bent on enslaving the entire human race. I forgot to count how often leftists have actually accused me to be a spy of Germany's Federal Ministry of the Interior or conservative painted me as being soft on Terrorism and an enemy of Israel.

For today I will buy into Obama's promises and hope that the US starts to export good examples to Europe again.

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Happiness pursued


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