Politics

11.07.12

Bernard-Henri Lévy: A Great Day for America

Obama’s reelection is a victory for intelligence, reason—and, yes, hope.

Well, there it is.

As we predicted in France, as all the true friends of America foresaw—and contrary to what, until the very last minute, the distressed theoreticians of the “tight battle,” the “decisive hand-to-hand combat,” the battle that would be “won by a hair,” felt obliged to predict—Obama won by a wide margin.

It is a victory for a moderate man, whose charisma remains intact.

It is a victory for his strategy of government intervention that has allowed the United States to weather the storm for four years.

It is a victory for this great American who, since his first great speech in 2004, has never tired of saying and repeating that he is not the man of the blue states against the red, but of the United States of America.

It is obviously a defeat for the neo-Darwinians who, including certain Republican ideologues, think the poor should merely to suffer or die in times of crisis, as well as for those partisans of the culture war who treat a battle of each against all set up as a divine commandment. The American people want none of that!

It should be remarked in passing that it is also a defeat for the pollsters and commentators who (perhaps because they secretly wished it to be) proclaimed just hours ago that this would be the “most closely contested election in the history of the United States.” How dim one must be, how lacking in faith in this great country and unaware of its profound confidence, to say nothing of its institutional workings, to have actually believed that it would choose a governor who has made a fortune playing with the laws of finance. For such a long time, it has been touted that America has “no problem with money,” that it’s the country of happy capitalism, unregulated and without restraint. Well, it’s not true! It’s no longer true! And it’s a good thing.

It is a victory for the American people who refused to be taken in by the charm of those who Barack Obama called (in his Chicago acceptance speech) the “pundits” and who, indeed, didn’t do him any favors this time around.

It is a victory of reason and hope.

Of intelligence and inspiration.

It is the victory of a still young president who has four years to fulfill the promise I heard him make, eight years ago, completely unknown, during the Democratic convention.

It is a historic victory.

It is a great day for America and for the world.

Sometimes great nations have a rendezvous with greatness, and such is the case today.

Translated from the French by Janet Lizop.