Thursday, October 09, 2008

Obama: the right leader for our time

According to the oft cited quote from Winston Churchill: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”

And certainly it seems that, by design, by luck, or by divine providence, whenever the US has been faced with a major crisis it has eventually brought forth a leader to deal with that crisis. FDR saw the country through both the great depression and World War II, Abraham Lincoln successfully defended the union and ended slavery during the civil war, and at the nation's most critical moment, its birth, George Washington set an unmatched example of how to lead, and transfer leadership for the new republic.

As the US stares down the worst economic crisis since the great depression, as it finds itself embroiled in two land wars, as it sees its military, political, and economic leadership at new lows, will we be again so fortunate as to choose a man who historians will rank with Washington, with FDR, with Lincoln?

Reformed religious right leader, author, and Obama supporter Frank Schaeffer certainly thinks so:

Great presidents are made great by horrible circumstances combined with character, temperament and intelligence. Like firemen, cops, doctors or soldiers, presidents need a crisis to shine.

Obama is one of the most intelligent presidential aspirants to ever step forward in American history. The likes of his intellectual capabilities have not been surpassed in public life since the Founding Fathers put pen to paper. His personal character is also solid gold. Take heart, America: we have the leader for our times.

As a skeptic and cynic by inclination, as well as training, I have a hard time buying into the totality of Schaeffer's paean.

And certainly such belief would be mocked incessantly by the right (despite, of course, some of the rather silly things they've said about W over the years).

The thing is though, I really want to believe.

And, even as an agnostic, even I might be inclined to say a word or two in prayer to whatever gods there may be, that Obama become the man we so desperately need him to be.

You can read Schaeffer's whole post over at

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