…American exceptionalism, as practiced by Bush, has created a longing for new American engagement.
Renewal is about policy; it’s also about symbolism. Which brings us to Barack Hussein Obama, the Democratic candidate with a Kenyan father, a Kansan mother, an Indonesian stepfather, a childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia and impressionable experience of the Muslim world.
If the globe can’t vote next November, it can find itself in Obama. Troubled by the violent chasm between the West and the Islamic world? Obama seems to bridge it. Disturbed by the gulf between rich and poor that globalization spurs? Obama, the African-American, gets it: the South Side of Chicago is the South Side of the world.
He lingers a bit too long for my taste on the interest the rest of the world has in this election. For me the more important point is that a more productive engagement with the rest of the world is good for America, and that’s why we need to make this happen.
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