Consummate dilettantism!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Like Obama?

This is gonna be published somewhere; I'll let you know where when it is. In the meantime, read it; it's good.
Count me among the cynics. ‘Tis always better to doubt than to believe, and there is no shortage of reasons to doubt. We seem to be stuck in a timeless universe, living in a moment that knows no past and no future. The boundless enthusiasm for Barack Obama is simply not proportionate to what he has done or plans to do, nor can the nation hope itself out of the mess it is in. Only when we understand this can we confront the very real nature of policy, and what Obama has promised does not look promising. Can the President bail the country out by resuscitating hopelessly failed industries, by spending on projects that cannot hope to commence until the “crisis” has passed, by hoping to use our money better than we ourselves can? Can he hope to outlaw partisanship and “unify” government, an idea that I hope sounds as scary to me as it does to thee? Can he hope to surmount the vitally imperfect nature of our government, to avoid redundancy and waste when only a few hundred people have a say in where billions of dollars are spent? The answer is no, of course, and this is a reality that few of us wish to confront. Blinded by the magical brilliance of the inauguration, we seem to have forgotten that what goes on in Washington is very real and very serious. We should not expect salvation from lofty platitudes, nor that hopeful change is some unalloyed good.

Given the nature of my convictions, you would not expect me to have been moved by Obama’s speech. Yet you would be wrong, and I hold out hope yet. I was touched, indeed surprised, by the rising line in which he proclaims to the terrorists, for all the world to hear, that “our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken,” that “you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” I was glad to hear my president submit a declaration of strength, not weakness, proud in the knowledge that my country would not succumb to the trendily radical sapping of the human spirit, a sapping that surrenders any claim to the right, that preemptively declares the scum of humanity the victor. A vigorous defense of liberty, a defense that fiercely recoils from the disgustingly pusillanimous equivocation that grips the souls of cowards, is the only way to halt the moral advance of terrorism. Any friend of liberty is a friend of mine. So I say: Mr. President, with trust in God, defend freedom; fight for good!

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