And so it came to pass that on Nov. 4, 2008, shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern time, the American Civil War ended, as a black man — Barack Hussein Obama — won enough electoral votes to become president of the United States.
How did Obama pull it off? To be sure, it probably took a once-in-a-century economic crisis to get enough white people to vote for a black man. And to be sure, Obama’s better organization, calm manner, mellifluous speaking style and unthreatening message of “change” all served him well.
It was white conservatives telling the guys in the men’s grill at the country club that they were voting for John McCain, but then quietly going into the booth and voting for Obama, even though they knew it would mean higher taxes. Why? Some did it because they sensed how inspired and hopeful their kids were about an Obama presidency, and they not only didn’t want to dash those hopes, they secretly wanted to share them.
Bush & Co. did not believe that government could be an instrument of the common good. (...) For them, pursuit of the common good was all about pursuit of individual self-interest. Voters rebelled against that. But there was also a rebellion against a traditional Democratic version of the common good — that it is simply the sum of all interest groups clamoring for their share.
None of this will be easy. But my gut tells me that of all the changes that will be ushered in by an Obama presidency, breaking with our racial past may turn out to be the least of them. There is just so much work to be done. The Civil War is over. Let reconstruction begin.
ACTUALIZACIÓN: Pero mientras Friedman habla de que con la elección de Obama acabó la Guerra Civil norteamericana, aquí vamos para atrás. Un casi alucinógeno post del Utero de Marita me recuerda que algunos peruanos son inexplicables. ¿Pero el antecedente no lo puso Caretas? Me bajo en la esquina.
ACTUALIZACIÓN 2: A veces el discurso de los derrotados puede ser igual de inspirador que el de los victoriosos. McCain -a pesar de una campaña que removió sentimientos no muy sanos- lo hizo bien anoche y creo que me impactó más que Obama: