in General

A Change is Gonna Come

I was born by the river
In a little tent
And just like the river
I’ve been running ever since

It’s been a long, long time coming
But I know a change gonna come
Oh, yes it is

It’s been too hard living
But I’m afraid to die
I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky

It’s been a long, long time coming
But I know a change gonna come
Oh, yes it will

Then I go to my brother
I say brother help me please
But he winds up knocking me
Back down on my knees

There’s been times that I thought
I wouldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come
Oh, yes it will

– Sam Cooke, A Change is Gonna Come

Thank you to all my friends in the USA, at both ends of the political spectrum… and thank you to Barack Obama and everyone who participated in this historic campaign. It’s a giant first leap to renew America’s image throughout the world, and there are so many of us who couldn’t be more excited that you’re back on track.

The idea of America is amazing. That a country and people of such breadth and depth hangs together as a democracy is incredible. It has been so disappointing to see that idea dragged through the mud for the last eight years, but tonight was wonderful and uplifting.

… and hopeful. There, I said it. :-)

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  1. I almost lost faith in the cultural export of the US. Their once strong image was becoming fake and polluted.
    Now it feels very real and inspired. So happy for our American friends

  2. Funny, its all hope and love when your ideology or candidate wins. Our current Pres’ isn’t popular, nor have all of his decisions been right, but for me, as a citizen of the US, your idea of “mud dragging” and mine are far far different.

    You also base your praise on the election of the president. Our conservative nature, however, which you seemed to gloss over so lightly and actually ignored in your ‘all is bliss’ post, passed several ballot initiatives across the country I KNOW you would disagree with. (just from your post’s tone.)

    You should also look at the raw voting totals. This was no “landslide”.

    Before you just think me tossing rotten apples, I am apprehensively glad that Obama won this election. NOT because John McCain was a bad choice, rather his vice presidential choice WAS a a scary proposition to be a heartbeat from the ‘job’ with the boss being 72 years old with a history of health problems.

    Change for change’s sake is not always good, especially if it leads our nation into another 9-11 disaster due to ‘change’ that encourages terrorists to think us weak again.

    Life is NOT black and white (pardon the pun on this post election), it is shades of grey, and in this world there are evil people who will look for the first sign of weakness to perpetrate that evil against what they perceive to be weak. That is what worries me more than anything else when ‘change’ is bandied about without specifics as to WHAT THAT CHANGE WILL BE.

    The US should never base its decisions on whether the “world” thinks us good or ill, but it should base its decisions on what keeps us strong AND safe from those aforementioned evil types that have no humanity.

  3. “Life is NOT black and white”

    The fact that in a couple of months time, you will have a President who understands that in a deep and nuanced manner is extraordinarily relieving. The next fragment of your sentence, about evil and weakness, is incongruous with the first.

    The USA will be stronger through tolerance, diplomacy and good example — all of which Obama represents. The USA will continue to get weaker with the violence, ignorance and exceptionalism displayed over the last eight years.

    That perhaps the world sees this, and you do not, might be something to consider… but I understand that it is culturally uncomfortable for many Americans — even those holding such high office as Supreme Court justices.

  4. Americans are stupid.
    choosing a celebrity insted of someone with real experiance, really smart.
    in Israel we paid a heavy price of selecting a man like Obama – Ahud Olmert, an ex lower with no real experience with politics, can only talk nicely but cant do any thing except damage.
    i just hope no one will have to pay with his life because of this man.

  5. People have been paying with their lives for far too long now, Bush had a wealth of experience.. maybe your views are based on something else!!

  6. Oh come on!

    “Change for change’s sake is not always good, especially if it leads our nation into another 9-11 disaster due to ‘change’ that encourages terrorists to think us weak again.”

    Yeah, and going to war in Iraq based on faulty intelligence was a great idea. We’re living in a real safe world now because of that.

    For a person who talks about the absence of “black and white” in the world, you seem to put a lot of faith in the last President who showed a singular lack of understanding of this concept.

    Geoff, I came to the blog to say I agreed with you 100%.

  7. >“Change for change’s sake is not always good, especially if it leads our nation into another 9-11 disaster due to ‘change’ that encourages terrorists to think us weak again.”

    Yes. Freedom makes you vulnerable. Weak.

    But thankfully somebody pinched uncle sam. Thankfully they flew a plane into a building and suddenly america realized that they don’t need that freedom. They were so brave that instead of defending what they stood for, they gave it up over night.

    Out of fear. What changed the world was not the planes flying into the buildings. It was the lack of balls, the lack of any backbone in the USA.

    The weakness of America was that it led itself be controlled by fear. That it was this easy to make them give up on everything they once stood for.

    The weakness of America is fear and the achilles-heel is the white christian republican. Ready to betray his country.

  8. I just played that song all the way through on guitar for the first time, thanks to your post. I’ve been listening to the Billie Holliday version for years, so I stumbled on the bridge a bit.

    I cannot think of a better moment to remind us all of this great song. Many who live in other countries are too hasty to judge the country and it’s people based on its media personalities, stereotypes, leaders and infamous moments. At the end of the day, all that can be said of anyone from any country is that they are struggling to make it through like the rest of us. President-Elect Obama strikes me as the kind of leader who has a chance to re-unite what has been divided. I look forward to his presidency, from a Canadian vantage-point.

  9. I don’t know if Barak is the answer, per se, but he _is_ something different. If a place ever needed a political change, the USA is it. H’ain’t been the same since Abe.