Saturday, August 30, 2008

Last One For Today

Here's a good post from Slactivist on the subject of Obama's qualities that may make him an inspirational leader. I only saw a little bit of Obama's acceptance speech, but I read the whole thing this morning. The guy's a dynamite speaker. Frankly, I believe oratory may be a president's most important skill. He (or she) has to inspire and lead We The People to do hard things.

Think of President Roosevelt's fireside chats or President Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon. Even [I hate to do this] Reagan's ability to make people believe in his [twisted and historically inaccurate] vision of America and to act accordingly demonstrated superb leadership [even if it was in a totally wrong direction and based on a total lie].

A president needs to be able to connect with the People. As Slactivist points out, it helps a whole lot if the leader loves and believes in the People he (or she) is talking to.

I have no doubt that both McCain and Obama love America. I have the impression that McCain's love for America is a sort of patriotic passion that is about symbol and myth and focuses on Power and Strength.

Obama [like the Preacher he did not name in his speech or the Carpenter whose witness inspired and empowered both] appears to love We The People not for what we are but for what we could become.

I rather like that. I don't know that Obama will be a great president (I'd be willing to bet that the politics of division and gridlock will prevent him from accomplishing much), but he couldn't be any worse than what we have now.

He certainly has that oratory thing going for him.