My colleague Jesse Schwartz wrote an op-ed about his transatlantic travels since 2004. Experiencing the US elections in Berlin, he concludes that America is more than a place again: America: New Beginnings, an Old Idea.
He describes the mood at an election party:
As Obama's electoral vote count rose, so did the ebullience. Excitement soon gave way to pure euphoria. This was to be expected, especially from the Americans. But then I saw tears streaming down the face of grown men from Zambia, a fourteen year old girl from Berlin and her mother, Germans, Americans, Irish, white, black, old, young, everyone. The catharsis was overwhelming. America the idea, that ineffable concept, was pouring from people's eyes. This confluence of historic moments had produced something I had never thought possible from my experiences of the past five years. Cheers. Cheers for America. Cheers for the American flag. Uproarious Cheers when Obama told the world, "God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America." Cheers for all things American. And above all Cheers for the idea that is America.