Sunday, November 16, 2008

Change: How Political Eras End and Begin

by Ron Suskind, NY Times

Bush, locked in his Oedipal struggles — father and son, World War II and Vietnam, a faded generation and a fading one — again and again mistook rigidity for fortitude and never really evolved in office, as all presidents must. He rose up, using his innate trust of emotion and impulse, to meet the first challenges of 9/11, but then froze solid. At a time when the nation’s challenges, so fresh, so fast-moving, so startling, demanded constant reappraisal and response, he — the child of a president — thought it was about him: his issues, his battles, his heart. It’s not, at least not now.

In a time of crisis, the American public took hold of its system of self-governance, broken, over many years, by compulsive divisiveness, and said, Let’s try something new — and reach for history’s arc.

That’s why they, the people, sent Barack Obama onto the stage.