The Change


A reader writes:

Something really caught me today while reading your blog -- this clip from the Iranian protests.

All of our media coverage today seems to be focused on spinning election results from last night, and what they mean for our "big two" political parties.  Doesn't anyone else see the deeper meaning of what last year meant?  You don't need to look any further than how Iran was united against the U.S. during the Bush administration, to now a splinter revolution taking place that is drawing a line in the sand against its government.  I don't mean to imply that Obama waved some magic wand here; all of the credit goes to Iranians willing to stand up to the thugs patrolling their streets.

But would it be happening this way if the Middle East still viewed the United States the way it did during the Bush years? 

Would the Green Revolution exist if its members still felt an obligation for their nationalism to arise in response to an empire's consistent sabre rattling?  Would they ask for an American President to stand by their side?

I kinda doubt it.  This isn't meant as cheer leading for Obama; his only achievement thus far has been to step back from the cliff's edge.  But the view is so much better from our current position.

Obama may not live up to the wildest hopes of his supporters, but this is exactly the type of "change" I thought possible when Ohio was called last year.  I don't have the same chills and sense of awe as then, but this will do.

I feel the same way, as I said on Colbert. But equally, I see real signs that those who are threatened by this change at home and abroad are redoubling their efforts to kill this window of promise, because they are far more comfortable in the easy polarization of the past.

What we are about to see is if Obama has the mettle to overcome them. What I do believe is that the stakes are extremely high - in terms of core global security and national cohesion - if he fails. And what I also believe is that without us pushing, fighting, arguing, supporting and constructively criticizing, success will be impossible.