14 November 2008

The Global Century

NEW YORK En liten berättelse apropå ett möte med Barack Obama på Hawaii för några år sedan:

[A]nyone who steps out of the U.S. today, in any direction, quickly sees that the American Century has become the Global Century and that where a generation ago much of the globe was trying to look like America, now it's America that needs to get in tune with the rest of the globe. The very presence of someone like Obama shows this is possible. But the story of the 21st century so far has been of a fast-moving train that the U.S. (like its enemies) declines to board.

Everywhere I've been this year — from Jerusalem to Japan to Colombia to Italy and back again — I've heard people essentially say that America is an overweight, white plutocrat who is not only out of touch with the world but also shows no signs of wanting to grow closer to it. This is as unfair as any image — contradicted at every moment by the kindness and curiosity of many Americans — but it remains a potent one in a world where people communicate more with images than ideas and assumptions travel faster than truths. The best way to begin to correct it is to show the world a leader who can't really say how much he's African or Asian or American or just a product of their mixing in Hawaii. The point is not just that Obama will bring globalism to America; in his name, his face and his issues, he'll bring America back to the globe.


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