Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordplay














Last night, Barack Obama pummeled his Democratic rival, winning his ninth state in a row over the increasingly flaccid campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Recently, people have been asking me — even some here on this blog — exactly why it is that I so admire and am attracted to Barack Obama. Moreover, they’ve commented that they don’t even know what Obama stands for, further driving the earlier query as to my personal interest. The questions, in my mind, are inexorably intertwined.

The lack of knowing what Obama stands for strikes me as a bit disingenuous and/or silly. A five-minute search online will yield dozens of virtual storehouses, from his official campaign’s website to all the major newspapers to countless political action pages of all stripes that have comprehensive breakdowns of his political beliefs, some even spelled out in his own words. All one needs do is be proactive. It is true that this complaint about style over substance and rhetoric over reality has been coming to the fore lately. And you have seen Obama compensating the past week or so, filling his victory speeches with more specific policy details than one is used to hearing.

The problem, in my opinion, is those very victory speeches. The public, wondering what Obama stands for, tunes in only to those speeches. But that is not what a victory speech is for. A victory speech is a time to exult in the heady brew of success and inspire the watching crowds to turn a singular triumph into sustainable momentum. Policy details, while certainly not out of place in a victory speech, are primarily for campaign speeches and national debates and Obama has laid out a clear agenda in all of them.

Those who feel Obama never says anything of substance in his speeches are simply watching the wrong speeches.

Now on to the earlier and admittedly more personal question — why I like Barack Obama. Obviously, this is not the sort of question I can answer without revealing much of my own political ideology. And I don’t want to make this about what I believe. Originally I composed a rough draft of this post that was several pages long. I’d been working on it for weeks. It was a comprehensive examination of Obama’s stances and why I sided with him on them.

However, in addition to simply being a long, unwieldy, wordy glutton, I realized that, instead of inspiring dialogue about Obama, it would have focused all eyes on my own ideology and that was hardly my intent. So I tossed it in the proverbial trash bin.

This is not an attempt to sidestep the original question, even though I understand if some see it as such. I encourage those who asked the question in the first place to visit here, here, here, here, here, here, or here for starters and see what Obama stands for. Chances are the stances listed there are exactly why he already has my vote. We don’t agree on everything, to be certain. But we agree on enough.

Let me say something about the brouhaha over Obama’s empty eloquence, because that is ground sturdy enough to hold even my feigning weight. Yes, Obama inspires me. Yes, he makes me feel proud to be an American. And while I may not agree with Michelle Obama and claim that her husband has made me feel pride in my country for the first time in my life, it is certainly the first time I’ve felt anything more than raging contempt and disenchantment in the past seven years. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that no statesman in my lifetime has inspired me more. Obama breeds hope, appealing to the better angels of our nature. He makes me strive to be better and hope my country can be better — something I’ve despaired of for a long time.

Yes, those are just words, but they are good words and words are where we must begin. Words are the fuel that power the engines of change. No, words are not actions and I am certainly not a fan of empty, unsubstantive bluster. But you cannot have actions without words. So long as the resolve is there to transform the words into reality, then the words are indispensable. And if words are the vanguards of our actions, then let them be words of hope and motivation and nobility.

From Lincoln's second inaugural address to JFK's first, from RFK's pleas for unity to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a better tomorrow, from Ronald Reagan’s aural assault on communism to Barack Obama’s vision of change, great and powerful history begins with short and soft syllables. Words crystallize. Words galvanize. Words arouse the unconscious, the ignorant and even the apathetic.

This isn’t a debate about pollyanna vs. pragmatism. It is about cynicism vs. transcendence.

32 Comments:

Anonymous Deborah said...

Brandon,

What bothers me about your enchantment with Obama is your apparent idolization of the man. Assuming you still have the basic foundation of beliefs I believe you to have, your adoration of him borders on the unhealthy in my opinion.

Now, I am not highly educated like the majority of your friends and readers; I am not particularly informed about politics, and though I try to be as knowledgeable as possible, I am a single working mother of two kids with a house to upkeep and very little time to peruse site after site (although I appreciate your thoughtfulness in providing them) to discover Obama's in-depth voting record, etc. I do my best to be informed but my busy life does not lend itself to endless musing on politics. So you could say my response to you is coming out of uneducated ignorance or blind faith or whatever other description one would like to attach.

However, when you speak of raging contempt and disenchantment it makes me think you've forgotten that the turning of the world will continue to be for the worse not the better. My own disenchantment as an American comes from the dwindling options for voters like me whose foundational beliefs are based in biblical principles; and from those who put their faith in any government, political party or individual leader. And by the way, I deplore much of what has come of the current administration myself. I am not a blind believer nor do I agree with decisions that have been made by our current president. I do pray for the man because that's what we're called to do - pray for our leaders..and not for their downfall or for retribution for their mistakes. I believe God puts leaders into power and takes them down. If Obama is elected president, it will be part of God's plan. To me it will NOT mean our country is suddenly in the right hands or a utopian state. Only if America were to turn back to following godly principles (which I don't believe it will) would we be headed in the right direction. Raising an individual leader to such a pedestal seems out of balance to me.

Although I definitely fall into the category of conservative for the most part, there is no candidate, ever, from any party, who would elicit such a response from me as we've heard from you regarding Obama. Cynicism vs. transcendence? Where are you placing your trust, Brandon? In a man? Barack is a great orator, yes. He can definitely 'preach it.' I wouldn't put my faith in him. I put my faith in a higher authority.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The oft-repeated line - sometimes by my friends - that Obama lacks substance is one of those parroted ideas that takes hold every election cycle, often for no more reason than people need a narrative, a position they can hang their hat on, something, when they haven't gone beyond researching what a few other people have said, which is the same thing.

The whole Obama-never-gives-details thing is not quite Swift-Boat-false in sheer villainy - it's too lazy an attitude for that - but it's galling enough, especially when you consider the spin factory that's come from the current administration for the last 7 years.

Yes, all his policies and programs are a mere click away. As it should be.

Nate

5:57 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

So, to paraphrase Obama's wife, you believe he can "fix your soul"?

The distinction you make between transcendence and cynicism is, on a certain level, a false dichotomy. More than a few of Obama's followers have been quite extreme in their contempt for the likes of Bush, Clinton, Edwards, etc., and it is not hard at all to think that their desperate quest for transcendence, and the emphasis that Obama's campaign has placed on feelings over thoughts (to paraphrase another of Michelle Obama's recent quotes), is fuelled in part by a deep-seated cynicism about the nature of the political process itself. You yourself admit to feeling "raging contempt and disenchantment" in this very post. Surely, to some, this would seem like cynicism too, no?

Me, I'll take healthy skepticism over cynicism and swooning adulation any time.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Deborah,

I think our views, both political and spiritual, have grown divergent, my friend.

Oh, I don't believe he is a messiah or anything less than a fallible, even corruptible man. But I find it interesting that when one person inspires others to be better and think beyond themselves--surely a Christian ideal--he is lambasted, especially from the very segment of the political/religious spectrum (of which I am well aware you are not a card carrying member) that once looked upon George Bush as the salvation of America.

Never been much of a fan of Christian apocalyptic meltdowns, America begun as a Christian nation, and all that sort of stuff--at least not for years. I find myself becoming more of a Deist everyday. Perhaps that too is why we differ.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Cynicism? No. I believe in the system (though I hardly think it sacred). It is the people who exploit it at the expense and on the backs of those they claim to represent that inspire the "raging contempt and disenchantment."

6:05 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

And I said nothing of fixing souls. I am very happy with Obama fixing foreign policy and leaving the souls to the ministers. Unlike most Christians, I whole-heartedly believe in the separation of Church and State.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

It is the people who exploit it at the expense and on the backs of those they claim to represent that inspire the "raging contempt and disenchantment."

Well, then the Obamas will get their turn, I expect. Assuming they are elected, of course.

Personally, what bits of rhetoric I have heard so far don't seem all that compelling -- possibly because I tend to read transcripts more than watch video. (I almost never watch TV.) You know what they say about the Kennedy-Nixon debates, and how the radio listeners thought Nixon had won while the TV viewers thought Kennedy had won, right? Might be something similar here.

And it is worth noting that many, if not most, of the "just words" that Obama and others have cited as examples of great, meaningful rhetoric happen to be words that were written to rally the troops in times of war. They were not "just words" because they were accompanied by actions -- and often brutal actions, at that. And I am sure many people were cynical about those words when they first appeared, and about the uses to which those words were put, too.

So this raises the question, what sort of wars is Obama prepared to fight? What will "transcendence" look like once the troops are deployed?

And I said nothing of fixing souls.

You did, however, speak of "transcendence". That is not the sort of thing we should be turning to politicians for. Indeed, the moment a politician tries to sell us such a thing, we should see it as an invitation to be healthily skeptical.

I am very happy with Obama fixing foreign policy . . .

Which he almost certainly will not and cannot do, given that his policies seem to amount to little more than an assertion of the power of his own charisma to make friends overseas, and given that he has zero experience in this regard (certainly he's no better prepared than Bush II was eight years ago, and, well, look how well that worked out for you), and given that he has surrounded himself with some pretty dicey foreign-policy advisors.

And no, I'm not just saying that because Obama was ignorant enough to refer to the leader of his nation's largest trading partner -- indeed, his state's largest trading partner -- as "the President of Canada". We're kind of used to Americans not having a clue how things work up here. Though the error, minor as it was, was certainly suggestive of larger things.

Unlike most Christians, I whole-heartedly believe in the separation of Church and State.

Somehow I don't think Obama is your candidate, then.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

Thank you for at least recognizing I'm not a card-carrying member. Whew! What an insult that would be...

6:38 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Cynicism? No. I believe in the system . . .

Apparently the Obamas don't; they are more "cynical" than you, on that count. As Mr. Obama just said of his wife, in an attempt to defend her remark: "Because she's pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she's not alone."

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon,

"Transcendence" over "cynicism"? Seriously? I don't know what is "transcendent" about giving the federal government more power over our lives.

Furthermore, doing so doesn't really constitute much of a change (except for the worse), which is why Obama leaves his specifics in the fine print. Rather, it's more of the same: the same path toward more centralized government on which we've been mindlessly traveling since FDR. (Reagan was the only President since who really wanted change.)

Thus, Obama's slogan should be "Sameness." Or, if he wants to spice it up a bit, he could go with, "Obama: More of the same, but with a new look and sound." Or..."Obama: Reaching into your pockets for change."

Jeff

6:48 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

This coming from a Republican whose President has spent the last seven years methodically increasing the size and reach of the federal government, especially its unchecked ability to inject itself into our private lives, while simultaneously obliterating the very safeguards set in place to ensure it answers to the public it is charged to serve.

More power over our lives...

Don't make me laugh.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Obama doesn't think the size and scope of the federal government have expanded enough, as, in most ways, this weakness of Bush is something he is explicitly poised to emulate and surpass. A change away from this ever-expanding federal role is what we need, but that's not Barack's brand of change. His is a continued change away from the Founding and toward FDR, LBJ, and, yes, GWB. In truth, that's not change; it's more of the same. But why quibble when the new package looks so shiny?

Jeff

1:08 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

transcendence (adjective)

The ability to rise above / beyond or above the range of normal experience / surpassing the ordinary; exceptional

7:30 AM  
Blogger robyn said...

You did, however, speak of "transcendence". That is not the sort of thing we should be turning to politicians for. Indeed, the moment a politician tries to sell us such a thing, we should see it as an invitation to be healthily skeptical.

I also have to disagree with the way "transcendence" has been attached to Obama's campaign and the man himself while declaring myself as his supporter. The word itself is not offensive but lately when I see the way starry eyed people are using it to discuss his presidential bid I get nervous because I get a whiff of utopian escapism. Alternately people seeem to think that electing this man is going to end racism, end the war, and infuse the entire country with hope and sunshine.

Brandon, I'm not saying this is you. I actually think you have very good reasons (as you eloquently explained) for supporting Obama rooted in knowledge of his policies and positions, which is what I hope that most people base their decisions on -- I also don't want to underestimate the importance of hope and change and a national salve to the crap that Bush has put us through for the past 7 years. But as a student of politics and radical movements, nothing has proved more dangerous time and time again than infusing one leader or one law, one amendment or new policy, with all of the qualities and power to implement widespread change. Simply because when that leader dies, leaves office or sells out the entire movement loses momentum if not outright stops. The assassination of MLK and Malcolm X seriously stalled civil rights. People were so focused on them and passing laws nobody thought far enough ahead to figure out what would happen after, think of a plan b, c, and d for the myriad of ways those policies would come back to bite us in the ass.

The point is no one seems to be thinking about the day AFTER Obama's inauguration or anticipating the stonewalling he might get from congress, how his election is going to effect grassroots mobilization around racial politics and liberal politics, etc. etc. etc. If we don't want a replay of Clinton (i.e. a liberal who becomes a neo-con while in office) then the people who really want change on the outside better be planning or organizing around something, not just waiting for the inauguration party.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Grinth said...

Let me begin this by saying that Obama was not who I've supported to be the Democratic candidate. That being said, now that it is a choice between him and HC, I am very much in the Obama camp (I strongly dislike all of the Republican candidates). So in the spirit of full disclosure I say this.

With that being said, there were a variety of things I wanted to say in response to everyone's posts here. I've thought better of them though and decided to settle on one thing.

Brandon made this post in response to people that wanted an explanation as to why he was an Obama supporter. I believe he did so very eloquently. In regards to the responses to this post I, unfortunately, can't make the same assertion.

Instead of making comments that would foster discussion, posit counter-arguments and highlight opinions on who would be a better option than Obama, everyone has seemed to resort to personal attacks against Brandon's position.

Why engage in an intellectually stimulating political conversation when you can resort to simply making vague, broad assertions that Brandon is misguided because of his support of Obama?

It's actually a bit ironic, that the people who are assaulting Obama for being nothing but empty words are, in fact, attacking a supporter of Obama with nothing but empty, nasty rhetoric.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

I likes Grinth.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why have Obama as presidient? If he does what you say, wouldn't he be better as a motivational speaker, going around helping others? The system is set up so that one man can't do too much (and I know that as you are reading this you are thinking of many different things that bush has done). So why not use his "incredible skills" in other ways? He will be hindered, blasted, targeted, held back, and compromised. That is the gift of presidency.
p.s. If you don't mind explaining if you have decided that Jesus is not God.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Anonymous,

I confess I don't understand your comments or your question.

Because Obama is so good at inspiring and motivating, he should, de faco, be anything but president? You're gonna have to elaborate on that false paradox before I can respond.

And as to your question, the typos make extrapolating your query all but impossible. Are you asking if I think Jesus is God, and what, may I ask, is the referent and/or relevance?

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry for my typos? I am not great at writing. I hope you can forgive me.

Wouldn't Obama be able to do more for the world as a traveling speaker, than as president? If he is good at helping people to lead a better life.

I was wondering about your comment about becoming a deist. A deist would say that Jesus is not God.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a lot of people who look to your thoughts. I was just wondering what your comment (about becomin a deist)had to do with this subject?

6:15 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

You're trying to turn a positive into a negative. Because he is so good at X he should instead go off and do Y? Why? This is the most ridiculous kind of logic.

And the deist comment went to God's interest in humanity. While admittedly an exaggeration, I was merely trying to point out that there are those people who see God's involvement in everything from obliterating the Native Americans so they could set up a heavenly utopia on Earth to those who pray that God will give their favorite sports team a victory. Then there is me. As if He cares...

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Brandon,

Are you seriously putting Obama in the same fraternity as Lincoln, JFK, MLK, and Reagan. He is a community organizer with 2 years in the Senate. The views everyone is expressing here are not rooted in cynicism. This are legitimate concerns for a man that wants the most powerful position in the free world and has a very good shot at it. We need to look past the fluff coming out of his mouth and give some attention to his credentials.

By the way, I understand exactly where he stands on the issues. I have been to his sight several times. I have a good understanding of his voting record in both the U.S. and Illinois Senate. I also understand that most of his policies would do more harm to the U.S. than good, except for lowing cooperate tax rates.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

No, Chris, I am not comparing Obama's record to that of Lincoln, JFK, MLK, or Reagan. Even a cursory glance at what I wrote reveals that I was speaking of the power of words to inspire action--something each of those men knew and employed.

As to your understanding of the issues, it comes down to this: I like his stance on the issues and you do not. And that, is where we must, simply, agree to disagree.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Grinth said...

Thanks Nate. That's the nicest thing anyone's said about me all week.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Brandon,

The fact that we disagree on the issues has never been in doubt, nor has it been the point of contention throughout this discussion. The problem is that masses of people are swooning over a man, many of which have been falling out in the isles in true Pentecostal fashion, who has no experience and never says anything of substance. If and you the rest of the Obama camp had been this enchanted over Clinton it would have been understandable.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Grinth said...

[quote=Chris]If and you the rest of the Obama camp had been this enchanted over Clinton it would have been understandable.[/quote]

Oh, I'm begging you to try and expound on this statement because that would be thoroughly enjoyable.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous POD said...

I am currently watching the Democratic debate on MSNBC right now and I find it interesting that on the core issues, I have the impression that Sen. Clinton is providing the answers with the most clarity and understanding, IMHO.

However, when the issue of Iraq came to forefront, I found myself feeling so war weary and tired of this entire issue... it is an issue that I am passionate about and I consider myself a firm believer in the "do not cut and run" policies that are espoused by President Bush and Sen. McCain.

I am not on either Sen. Clinton or Obama's side on the issue of Iraq, health care, NAFTA, taxes, what have you; however, my war weariness has left me with a sense of indecision that I have never had before in an upcoming general election... my mind and heart are firmly in the conservative mode, but I may find myself voting for a candidate that I wouldn't vote for otherwise. The country may be better off by experimenting with an Obama presidency. A President Obama is someone who would (definitely) be entering into the Oval Office with less experience than the current president had when he took office.

I could be wrong about this, but my first impression is that a President Obama administration would be a considerably weaker presidency (sorry all you Obama swooners) than a President Clinton or McCain presidency...

But I could possibly find myself voting for him in the same vein that we voted President Carter into office after the Watergate scandal... just get anyone in that doesn't have too many establishment ties... Obama fits that mold - and Sen. Clinton and McCain do not.

Man, I can't believe I'm writing this...

Matthew

10:11 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Obama as this generation's Jimmy Carter? Obama as this generation's idealistic but cynical foreign-policy and domestic-policy disaster, who paves the way for a resurgent Republican presidency? Wow. I could almost see that happening.

2:16 AM  
Blogger Daria said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts (and posting all those links), Brandon. I enjoy hearing what you have to say (or should I say, reading about what you think? ;-) ).
I think I understand how you were using "transcendence," and, since I tend to be a cynic, I think this is quite good for me to chew on--to think again about the potential power of inspirational speeches for good; to really consider the potential for longer-term healing from this sudden upsurge of hope in this country.

Blessings~
Daria (chew, chew, ponder, ponder... ;-) )

3:12 AM  
Anonymous POD said...

In response to Mr. Chattaway (is that your real name or are you just "chatty"?), we may not be the only ones considering the Jimmy Carter analogy, read the following link:

http://www.observer.com/2008/turning-obama-jimmy-carter

It must caveated the fact that an Obama Administration may turn out to be the exact opposite - but the broad historical similarities between 2008 and 1976 are uncanny.

One of my faintest childhood memories involved a mock presidential election when I was in the 2nd grade... I remember Jimmy Carter winning by a landslide (somewhere around 70-30%). We definitely were a bunch of impressionable kids:)

Matthew

5:10 AM  
Blogger Jon C. Fibbs said...

If we are not attempting to compare the candidate in question to any particular personality or belief but simply his like ability to inspire apathetic masses through eloquent speech, one wonders why we do not include such oratory masters Adolf Hitler? After all, did he not arouse the hopes of a fragmented nation to a unified vision? Or Lenin perhaps? No doubt, you find my comparisons cheap and distasteful. If so, it is only by a matter of degrees, not principle. Both are/were willing to use the violent power of the state to make society (both foreign and domestic) heal to their grand vision, at the expense of individual liberty.

Words, far from meaningless or unimportant, are nevertheless empty without conviction and principled adherence to the ideas and principles such words convey. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Let us not forget the words of George W. Bush and his “foreign policy of humility”, or his father's pointed promise to not raise taxes: “Read my lips”. Nor should we forget the semantic wordplay of Bill Clinton and his philosophical musings on the meaning of “is”.

Words by themselves are nothing, but the ideas they contain can be transcendent or base. They can inspire or they tear down. The medium of language makes possible the plays of Shakespeare (truly transcendent) and the diatribes of Jerry Falwell (truly vile).

Who among us can read Jefferson's Declaration of Independence without a feeling of awe at the ideas contained therein? The writings of Thomas Paine? They contain the power to strip naked aggression against the freedom of the individual by a ever increasing totalitarian state in whatever form it may assume.

Obama (and his speech writers) have taken great pains to craft an image for the public, but do not be deceived-the objective of these noble speeches are about getting a man elected are are likely to have much barring on the potential administration's actions having once achieved that goal. Actions speak louder than words as the saying goes, and only time will tell whether the adulation and trust Obama's supporters put in him is well placed.

However, for those that fancy Obama to be the anti-war candidate, guess again, a cursory study of Obama's rhetoric shows him to be every bit as much an interventionists as is the current administration. For while he may have cast himself as being against the travesty playing out in Iraq, he is by no means averred to using America's “military muscle” to keep in check “rouge states” and push forward with “America's mission” to spread democracy (not freedom mind you) to the world, “After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it may be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership-military, diplomatic, moral-to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities.” (Italics added) He further admonishes, “We cannot afford to be a country of isolationists right now...We need to maintain a strong foreign policy, relentless in pursuing our enemies and hopeful in promoting our values around the world.”

Obama is not against war in principle or even in general, just the current one (At an 2002 anti-war rally in Chicago he stated, “Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.”). And his reasons for being against the war in Iraq are not founded on any moral or philosophical ground, but rather pragmatic ones: it's poor execution (he suggested a surge in troop numbers in Iraq before even the Bush administration did) and how it has been a “distraction” to the United States government, stealing its attention from more pressing interventions that can be made elsewhere. No, far from dismantling the machines of war built up by the current (and previous) administration, Obama wishes to expand it by adding 65,000 to the U.S. Army and 27,000 to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Nor can Obama be counted on to turn back or even curtail the ever expanding powers of the executive because, “This century's threats are at least as dangerous and in some ways more complex than those we have confronted in the past. They come from weapons that can kill on a mass scale and from global terrorists who respond to alienation or perceived injustice with murderous nihilism. They come from rouge states allied to terrorists and from rising powers that could challenge both America and the international foundation of liberal democracy.” Fear mongering need not presuppose a Republican platform (Not that Obama is alone in employing this tactic as Hillary's “3 a.m.” speech bears out)

It may be premature to don Obama the patron saint of American Peace. In the interests of time, I will not even go into his domestic policy, except to say that his resent communications with the Canadian government might be instructive on just how much credence one should give Mr. Obama's words.

I support Obama in campaign for president but only as one who is forced to make a choice between the lesser of three evils. It is my hope (audacious?) that he will make good on his word to the nation to end this disgraceful war and its wholesale slaughter of those unwilling to bend their knee the to whims and desires of despotic state and its ruling elite. I do not dare to hope for more than that though. I suspect that he too will find other entanglements in which to embroil the nation before long. Even the noblest of men (to include Jefferson and Washington themselves) have proved their human inability to resist the power of office to force their fellow man to their will.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

That's what I like about you, Jon--always spreading sunshine wherever you go!

Good to have you and your well-thought out responses back. Truly.

7:26 AM  

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