A CRITICAL DIFFERENCE
It was tough not being affected by the endorsement of Barack Obama by senior Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, and Obama's acceptance speech, regardless of one's political leanings. The New York Times, in an article titled "Camelot '08 overshadows Bush Speech", put it as follows:
"The day began in Camelot and ended in Southfork.
Viewers on Monday were treated to a rare look at three dynasties working out their psychodramas at once: In his final State of the Union address, President Bush, the rebel Texan who defied his father, struggled to avoid the gloom of recession that darkened his father’s final days in the Oval Office.
On the campaign trail, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to patch over the pricklier parts of her husband’s legacy, while in Washington, the Kennedy clan sought vindication — and renewed vigor — by passing the torch to an adopted heir."
Both speeches are impressive indeed, both in their passion, their technical elegance and sparkling delivery. And they're worth the half hour or so it'll take to watch them (links below).
But as a first generation American, I couldn't help but be touched by this observation by the New York Times:
That tableau from a rally at American University, shown over and over throughout the day, was powerful and also poignant — the camera showed all too vividly that in passing the torch to Mr. Obama, the patriarch of the Kennedy clan was bypassing his own scions."
Despite our country's unique history and system of government, America is no less susceptible to dynastic political leadership than any other country in the world, developed or developing.
We have our own political dynasties, be they the Kennedys, or the Bushes, the Gores, and of course the Clintons, who aspire to have their own members carry the baton of political leadership and service. And this is just as prevalent in so many other countries with political systems very different than ours.
But we have rarely seen the passing of the torch to someone outside the family for the greater good, not only in America, but in other countries as well.
It made today's endorsement all the more extraordinary to watch and ponder from this viewer's perspective.