On Tuesday January 20th, America will inaugurate its first African-American president in the country's history. Barack Obama will officially become the 44th President of the United States, and with it he brings a wave of hope not seen since the days of JFK.
But are we expecting too much of him? Can an inexperienced junior senator from Illinois really beat the credit crunch, turn the tide of global warming and stop Hank Scorpio's evil scheme? It's too soon to be asking these questions, but his presidency will doubtlessly be judged on how effectively he tackles these two enormous issues during his four years at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world.
The global recession isn't going to be easily overcome, but capitalism goes in cycles, so it's inevitable that things will pick up again, regardless of the damage done. The most important thing about Obama's presidency is the hope it engenders in the masses, and so long as he continues to appear strong, calm and decisive, people will draw inspiration from it and work together to better the situation. At least, that's what we all hope.
Global warming, apparently, needs to have something done about it in the next four years, or we're all cooked. Republican opposition and big business interests could lead to Obama falling short on his campaign promises, but it's too early to say what way that wind is likely to blow. This is an issue on which I'd be much more pessimistic. I feel we missed the boat here a long time ago, and every day the solution slips further and further away from us. I hope I'm proved wrong.
For the time being, though, let's not focus on the future. Let's focus on the immediate present, and the outpouring of joy and hope we'll see on our screens this Tuesday. Finally, the world's most powerful nation have gotten it right.