Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Conciliator

It's about time The New Yorker stepped up to the plate. Here is their new full-length (and you New Yorker fans know what I mean!) piece on Barack Obama, and it's very good. I'm not sure yet, however, whether its influence on my opinion of Obama is positive or negative, though. In it we are shown a man who, for all his liberal opinions, has a very conservative estimation of the efficacy of "quick" change, revolutions, and charismatic figures ("Burkean" is the word both the magazine and others use). I find that both reassuring and disappointing, because in general I agree and I like that kind of skepticism, Lord knows we could use an introspective realist in the Oval Office, but we have some rather huge problems looming large on the horizon that I think require more drastic efforts than is normally merited. Climate change comes to mind. There is a strong temptation to look for a candidate who's a little more reminiscent of Roosevelt, a big personality looking to do big things and willing to fight for change on a grand scale.

Then again, the paragon of the introspective realist was Abraham Lincoln, and look what he did!

No comments: