17 January 2009

Who vs. What

30thstreetstation.com/Patricia Stiles in her introduction of Barack Obama in Philadelphia's 30th Street Station this morning uttered a phrase that caught my attention because it succinctly captures a key part of the change that is afoot. Paraphrasing she said, [Barack Obama] embodies change from the politics of who is right to [doing] what is right.

There is no doubt that Barack Obama is an extremely powerful "who", yet his focus on facts and honest reflection is the polar opposite of the Blink approach of his predecessor. We are seeing the disastrous results of exercising The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. What we need and what we believe we will experience in the next administration is actual thought. I suspect that it will be a difficult challenge for his own party to accept this change, but the people are clearly in the lead on this. The continued low opinion of Congress contrasted with Obama's numbers demonstrate this point.

In his farewell address the other day, George Bush said, "... I've always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right." Unfortunately this is not what the oath he took as President required him to do. In a segment on NPR's Morning Edition last week the careful wording of the Presidential oath in the Constitution was discussed. In particular it was noted that the President swears "... to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The oath clearly directs the President to do what the Constitution says is right, not what the President thinks is right.

This brings us back to the point: it is more important what is right than who is right.

1 comment:

M.J. said...

President Bush not only did not do what the Constitution says is right, but actively denied it by putting policies like the Freedom Act into place and detaining prisoners without making formal charges.

Having Barack Obama in office is certainly a nice change of pace.