What Obama's win means for me.

I wanted Barack Obama to become president from about 2005 or 2006 onward. I think his charisma first caught me, and his single policy decision: to oppose the Iraq war when it was just as wrong as it is today, but when few public people would say so. I responded to that because virtually everyone in my country opposed the war before it began for exactly the reasons that virtually everyone in his country does now.

I'm not American, and I feel it's arrogant or overbearing for me to care too much about U.S. domestic policy. I'm no fan of Quebec separtism, and it annoys me when foreign people delve into that issue with little knowledge of Canada, or of the undercurrents of that failed movement to destroy a country. And so I don't want to tell Americans to support gay marriage. But I do want to tell them to stop locking people in cells on island bases without normal laws. And I want to tell them to not lie to pre-emptively invade a country that poses little threat, when other measures may have come to a similar, less bloody end. I want to tell them to stop picking innocent people off the streets and from their homes in allied countries, taking them to secret places, and torturing them.

Barack Obama was the only person I felt would do this. And it looks like he may follow at least this spirit -- which I feel is a far more American spirit than what America has recently been. I'm not a beliver in American Exceptionalism, but I'm a believer in the power of this idea to do good; I want people around the world, and in my country too, to look at the United States as an almost immutable force for the steady progress of good in the world.

So on Nov. 4, I was almost shocked to realize that Barack Obama is black. I was fixated on his three unusual names -- especially the middle one. But I had hardly reflected on what it means for a black man to be elected by a white electorate in a country still not healed from the legacy of slavery. Barack Obama, and his wife and young girls will inhabit a house built by slaves. A house with an allusive name. I cried when he won, because it shocked me that, in one night, the entire American conversation around race has changed.

It's been six days, and I don't fully believe that it's happened. I said in October that I was waiting for Christmas, and I wasn't sure it would happen. Even when he won Penn. and Ohio I still worked out ways he could lose. But today feels like a continuing Christmas in which the massively wrong trajectory the world's guardian of classical liberalism (despite their brand-based fear of calling it that) had taken, was corrected. 

I think, with it going the right way, the all-important long term stability of things in our lives will continue. And, perhaps, the world will be a better place in eight years.