Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama in Norway

"The idea that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it."

Those words have quite a lot of power, in part because they do not strive for power. In eschewing eloquence, they achieve eloquence.

To me, that was the nature of Obama’s speech in Norway yesterday, and I was happy to have him, and that speech, representing my nation. I don’t think it was quite the “speech for history” that some claimed for it, and I don’t really think it was his best one, but it suited the moment and it served him, and America well.

He spoke of how he aspires to lead his nation in the community of nations, and that is precisely what the “lecture” at the Nobel award is supposed to be. If his current leadership does not perfectly meet those aspirations they are not diminished, let alone made void. There is a time and a place to speak of how he falls short of his goals; this is not it. This is the place to be pleased that we have a President who has the goals and values which he enumerated in his lecture.

Some of his goals are not mine. So be it. Weigh the totality of the man; evaluate all of who the man is and all of what he stands for and place that totality upon the scale of judgement. A man’s weight is not the weight of one finger, it is the sum of all of his parts.

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