Okay, I admit it: I have been slow to warm up to Barack Obama. I guess I just see the US as the bad guys. Ever since Jimmy Carter left office (and for a good long time before he became president), the US has seemed to me like a negative force in the world. It has a huge army and it uses its muscle to force its corporate goods on the world. It is imperialist. It invades countries and murders civilians to further its greedy ends. It bellows about being the world's greatest democracy while having the shoddiest democratic process in the western world. I'm a US citizen, but I frequently feel about that the way I do about having slave-owning ancestors. I'm embarrassed.
Then here came Obama: Mr. Hope. He sounded to me like Mr. Hype. I didn't see much difference between him and the rest of the right-wing hawks who run the US. It's definitely neat that he's a black man, but then it seems he won the nomination of his party largely because Democrats are so sexist that they couldn't stomach a female leader.
But today I'm starting to feel a bit differently about President O. The Pres had a good first day. Along with some other minor measures, he:
- Announced he's closing the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and halting the unjust trials of its prisoners.
- Tightened up the rules on lobbying.
- Told government officials to be more forthcoming in Freedom of Information Act requests.
Maybe there is hope. Or should I say Hope. (And does that require a TM?)