outra carta (desta vez pessoal) mas também recebida por via electrónica

As Kathy is in deep with the Democratic Party, we were in the inner
perimeter at the Obama rally last night (but very far from the stage). As
many of you know, I am sceptical about Obama/Biden and see all this through
the light of the Kennedy-era charisma- what with its let downs. For a
start, there is the big debt to be paid by 'Team Obama' to some big boys who
financed this show. See the article by the great Bill Moyers on that very
big stumbling block to real change which I sent to many of you. Still, the
experience was amazing. Obama has raised a lot of hope in a lot of people
and given a lot of people more dignity as well as made a lot of Chicagoans
very, very proud.

Scenes of people of all races and all national origins brought close to
tears was amazing. I know Il Duce, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and many other 'less
than desirable' leaders have been able to do the same thing, but the energy
and honest hope was very real. People talking as strangers to one another
was wonderful- something Americans have been notoriously bad at doing since
the emergence of the automobile society in the Truman-Eisenhower days and
the media/legalistic scare culture beginning from the Reagan era. One
incident last night struck home for me more than others. While walking down
Michigan Avenue (something you can't do every night in Chicago) a Black
couple just opened up four or five huge aluminium trays of barbeque chicken
wings they had cooked for this event. They just started handing them out to
everybody saying 'have an Obama wing'.

All around the world, food is used as a gift of friendship, pride,
sustenance and other deep cultural feelings of good will. While America has
no more solved its racial problems with the election of Obama than it
stopped its religious wars with the election of John F. Kennedy, the signal
to me is that many people really want to try. People's belief in themselves
has been renewed by this symbolic change.

Whether people came to this election to regain freedoms legally taken away
over the last 8 years, end racial prejudice, restore America's dignity in
the world, end religious bigotry, or restore some sense of a fairer income
balance in the country- hope for all of these things has been raised.

Thus the expectations are huge and Obama is doomed to fail at some of them
if not all of them. Even if this administration fails or even if it
succeeds and then (as is very likely) America goes off track (pun very much
intended) again, this has been a moment of rejuvenation. We also are having
an 'evolutionary' if not 'revolutionary' change for the better in the White
House. Enjoy it while it lasts!


a letter

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008


Who among us is not at a loss for words? Tears pour out. Tears of joy. Tears of relief. A stunning, whopping landslide of hope in a time of deep despair.

In a nation that was founded on genocide and then built on the backs of slaves, it was an unexpected moment, shocking in its simplicity: Barack Obama, a good man, a black man, said he would bring change to Washington, and the majority of the country liked that idea. The racists were present throughout the campaign and in the voting booth. But they are no longer the majority, and we will see their flame of hate fizzle out in our lifetime.

There was another important "first" last night. Never before in our history has an avowed anti-war candidate been elected president during a time of war. I hope President-elect Obama remembers that as he considers expanding the war in Afghanistan. The faith we now have will be lost if he forgets the main issue on which he beat his fellow Dems in the primaries and then a great war hero in the general election: The people of America are tired of war. Sick and tired. And their voice was loud and clear yesterday.

It's been an inexcusable 44 years since a Democrat running for president has received even just 51% of the vote. That's because most Americans haven't really liked the Democrats. They see them as rarely having the guts to get the job done or stand up for the working people they say they support. Well, here's their chance. It has been handed to them, via the voting public, in the form of a man who is not a party hack, not a set-for-life Beltway bureaucrat. Will he now become one of them, or will he force them to be more like him? We pray for the latter.

But today we celebrate this triumph of decency over personal attack, of peace over war, of intelligence over a belief that Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs just 6,000 years ago. What will it be like to have a smart president? Science, banished for eight years, will return. Imagine supporting our country's greatest minds as they seek to cure illness, discover new forms of energy, and work to save the planet. I know, pinch me.

We may, just possibly, also see a time of refreshing openness, enlightenment and creativity. The arts and the artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will be explored in order to discover the greater truths. When FDR was ushered in with his landslide in 1932, what followed was Frank Capra and Preston Sturgis, Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Orson Welles. All week long I have been inundated with media asking me, "gee, Mike, what will you do now that Bush is gone?" Are they kidding? What will it be like to work and create in an environment that nurtures and supports film and the arts, science and invention, and the freedom to be whatever you want to be? Watch a thousand flowers bloom! We've entered a new era, and if I could sum up our collective first thought of this new era, it is this: Anything Is Possible.

An African American has been elected President of the United States! Anything is possible! We can wrestle our economy out of the hands of the reckless rich and return it to the people. Anything is possible! Every citizen can be guaranteed health care. Anything is possible! We can stop melting the polar ice caps. Anything is possible! Those who have committed war crimes will be brought to justice. Anything is possible.

We really don't have much time. There is big work to do. But this is the week for all of us to revel in this great moment. Be humble about it. Do not treat the Republicans in your life the way they have treated you the past eight years. Show them the grace and goodness that Barack Obama exuded throughout the campaign. Though called every name in the book, he refused to lower himself to the gutter and sling the mud back. Can we follow his example? I know, it will be hard.

I want to thank everyone who gave of their time and resources to make this victory happen. It's been a long road, and huge damage has been done to this great country, not to mention to many of you who have lost your jobs, gone bankrupt from medical bills, or suffered through a loved one being shipped off to Iraq. We will now work to repair this damage, and it won't be easy.

But what a way to start! Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States. Wow. Seriously, wow.

Michael Moore


o perigo do contágio

num dos momentos de entusiasmo interior (que felizmente se vêm multiciplicando nos últimos dias) mandei este sms a uma amiga (de quem sou muito amiga):
pressinto que se o obama ganhar vou chorar perdidamente. não me interessará, nesse momento, se ele é mais do centro que de esquerda ou se em política externa não faz muita diferença do mccain (eu até penso que sim mas admito as dúvidas). só vou pensar no imenso significado simbólico de, na presidência do império - onde há 40 anos ainda a segregação racial era oficial -estar um homem muito inteligente e muito informado que é meio preto meio branco, meio americano-meio imigrante, filho de mãe solteira e intelectual, neto de avó muçulmana e rural, casado com uma (super) mulher afro-americana, o que é dizer descendente de escravos. se isto não é uma esperança para a humanidade não sei o que é a esperança. nem a humanidade.
eis o que ela me respondeu:
ele ainda não ganhou e eu já estou a chorar só de te ler.