Germans are waving little American flags. Was that even imaginable 4 years ago?
I think that’s a good thing, given how Germans and other Europeans feel about the current US government. I think overall, they admire the promise of the United States and the values we profess, but sadly we have strayed from those values in the last few years.
But still, they want to believe that ours is a country that leads the world in promise, human rights, innovation, and in other areas. I think they would like to see the US as an optimistic nation that leads the world because of American idealism.
I was very proud to see Obama speak in Berlin today. He may not win the presidency, but he’s done a lot to change our face to the world in a positive way.
From Obama’s Berlin speech:
People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time.
I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.
But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived – at great cost and great sacrifice – to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom – indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us – what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America’s shores – is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.
These are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of these aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of these aspirations that all free people – everywhere – became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of these aspirations that a new generation – our generation – must make our mark on the world.
We can do this.
Now let’s get to work.