Congratulations, Barack Obama. Only in America.
Three silver linings:
1. I always thought America’s first black president would be a conservative. So much for that theory. I’ve also always looked forward to the day when we would no longer have to comment on the “first black this” and the “first black that,” whether it’s a Superbowl-winning football coach or the secretary of state or whatever. I suppose these announcements will continue to go on for a while, but the achievements behind them will feel a lot less like barrier-busting progress than a mopping-up action in the wake of a dream realized.
2. A lot of people who have been very down on America–at home and abroad, for good reasons and bad–will be very up on America for at least a little while.
3. The movies will get better, as the moratorium on patriotism comes to an end. There will still be too many villainous businessmen and evil corporations, but there will also be a new sense of optimism about America’s role in the world (see #2, above). Perhaps in his giddiness, some Hollywood bigshot will green-light a war movie about our heroic soldiers–Marines at Fallujah, the sacrifices of Dunham, McGinnis, Monsoor, Murphy, and Smith, etc. The stories are there, waiting to be told.