America, take a bow

Cape Town talk radio was still buzzing about the election last night. Two comments stood out: the first was from a male African-sounding voice who said with wonder, “Yesterday they voted; today they have a result!” He went on to say that Mugabe would never have allowed it; and gave the impression that such a quick result, and peaceful change of government would be an unusual occurrence in Africa. Even in organised South Africa it would take a few days for results to be finalised.

The other comment, from a female African, was, “Americans are so dignified”. She was most impressed with the way McCain conceded defeat and the way Obama accepted it.

The phrase: Magnanimous in victory; gracious in defeat came to mind. I conveyed this to middle-aged Nina from Arizona today during a tour of the Cape Peninsula. She countered with: “McCain’s lost so often, he’s had a lot of practice in saying the right thing.” She went on to say that she had difficulty in deciding who to vote for.

Unlike most Capetonians. A Cape Argus poll showed that 81% of locals who participated would have voted for Obama, 15% for McCain, 1% for Ralph Nader, and somehow 3% managed to spoil their papers.

I didn’t even know that Nader had stood in the election. But a quick Google search showed that he had. And that he was master of the short, snappy sentence. Here’s a selection:
Against all odds.

We prevailed.

On $4 million total — what Obama raised in one day.

We drew the line.

Our consciences are clear.

Our hands are clean.

We made the moral choice.


The Nader Team

Two can play at this game:


For now


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