Dear America,

Thank you. Given the limited choices, the narrow range of political possibilities, and all that, I figure you done pretty good. Nobody’s ideal, but in a choice between jumping deeper into a pit or, well, a few positive changes, I figure you chose the latter. And at the very least, you kept Alzheimer’s McCain out, and Prayin’ Palin and the Bibliomaniacs from getting a heart attack away from the Presidency.

Your countrymen abroad, as well as my Korean students, seem overall quite pleased. Or relieved. Or both. Actually, so does much of the planet.

So… now what?

5 thoughts on “Whew…

  1. Yo, G,

    I’m generally happy with the outcome, but Koreans won’t be rejoicing once they realize Obama’s gonna hit them hard on fair trade issues.

    From the Korean perspective, it strikes me as a raw deal either way: A conservative president brings arrogant militarism but is willing to talk business; a Dem president brings arrogant protectionism but is willing to stand down on military issues. Yeah, that’s an oversimplification, but Obama’s already specifically mentioned South Korea several times as a country that practices unfair trade with the US. We’ll see how rosy things are between the US and South Korea over the next four years.

    (FYI, I didn’t vote for either McCain or Obama. Both guys are far more likable choices than the dumbasses of 2004, but neither 2008 candidate quite fit the bill for me.)


  2. In line with what Kevin said, I was watching the Korean news last night to gauge the reaction, and while the overall mood seems to be optimistic, I think they’re being quite realistic about it – they know that things aren’t going to be all peaches and cream. Or kimchi and doenjang, I guess.

    But President Lee is confident that he’ll be able to work with the new administration – apparently he and Biden are friends or something? Haven’t done much research in that area, but that’s what they said on the news.

  3. Guys,

    Hey, remember, I wrote, “My Korean students”! :)

    I have no idea how Korea in general feels. I suspect that people here would rather have Obama (who looks slightly less likely to foment global war than McCain). But I have a feeling that, yes, economics will become a sore point soon enough.

    I do know some young liberal Koreans have criticized Lee being so pally with Bush Jr. when it was obvious someone else was coming in. I’m not sure I understand quite why, since there was a whole year there, but I suspect there’s some link between the feeling that Lee was sucking up to Bush and that Obama would somehow resent that.

    Which is a kind of reaction I think Frantz Fanon would, in the mode of this book, have a lot to say about (since it assumes the Korean gov’t can’t be cordial with both major parties in America), but anyway…

  4. I don’t expect Obama to do what I want, or even make lasting changes.

    As with his election, if something else happens, I’ll be favorably surprised.

    I voted for Obama, but I preferred Kucinich, or the Green Party candidates.

  5. Right, I kind of expect him to disappoint me in the long run. But at least it’s not that other guy, who I expected would disappoint me gravely, endanger my life, and bring downright religious lunacy to the Vice Presidency.

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