Wednesday, 5 November 2008

My wife and Barack Obama



Marie isn't much interested in politics. I suppose what happens in the outside world is of lesser consequence to an agoraphobia sufferer.

But that was before Barack Obama.

She has been following his progress in the campaign to become president of the USA for quite a while. And Marie is someone who didn't, until recently, know the name of our Prime Minister! With this interest in Barack came the need for background information. As an enthusiastic political observer for many years, I was able to answer her many questions. It has created opportunities for sharing a common interest.

As a white, Protestant child from a middle-class family who subscribed to the ruling political party in Northern Ireland, I was assured a fairly priveleged childhood and adulthood. But...being a fat, ginger-haired boy, I was subjected to much bullying in my early years and I know from personal experience what it is like to be the one who doesn't fit in. This made me sympathetic to other oppressed persons and groups in Ireland and the rest of the world. I have stood up for those less fortunate than I whenever the opportunity arose (often getting me into trouble). That is how I can empathise with black Americans and what made me so pleased that Obama won the presidential race. Even if he turns out to be a useless president (although it would be hard to be worse than George W Bush), his election is a milestone in the fight for equality in the USA and the rest of the world now looks on the USA in a different (better) light.

Marie and I were unable to settle down to sleep last night before we knew that Obama had won. That is - we waited until we knew for ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that he had won. Despite losing sleep, Marie is in a very good mood today. (And so am I!)

It is my belief that if Marie continues to take an interest in the wider affairs of the outside world and increasingly looks outside her own narrow needs, she will want to engage with that world more than she can do at present. It will help in her journey out of agoraphobia. And it all started with an unlikely candidate for president of the USA...

Thank you, Barack Obama.

9 comments:

Bsquared86 said...

That is beautiful!

Robert said...

Hi bsquared86 - I guess you're happy too!

rosiero said...

And he is damm good-looking too!!! I am so pleased America made the right choice. He is a breath of fresh air and will be good for the American people. I found his thank-you speech very emotional.

rosiero said...

I'm glad Marie is taking an interest and, as you say, it might give her a wider view of the world outside her own.

Robert said...

Rosiero, if I was to agree with you that Barack is damn good-looking, you might ponder my sexual orientation... I found the whole evening very emotional; but I was particularly impressed by John McCain's speech. Perhaps he's a good guy after all - just not as good as Barack!

I wonder...if Barack is as good-looking as you believe, is THAT why Marie is taking such an interest in him??? lol

Anonymous said...

Barack offers hope and that is something we all want and can relate to. It is a great day indeed and I'm so glad you both were so invested in this election : )

Robert said...

Anonymous - did you know that in a recent survey 80% of British people wanted Barack Obama to win the USA presidential race?

Kit Courteney said...

What a wonderfully uplifting post.

Here's to Barack and to Marie too! May they both achieve wonderful things in the years to come.

(I agree with rosiero!)

ladythinker said...

Yes he has raised all our hopes. It's been refreshing to see something so cheerful and uplifting on the news.