Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The New-Old Message of Barack Obama

The pundits seem divided about the thrust of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address. This division seems to me to be due to a perception that there is a major discontinuity between two main themes of his candidacy and his life, change and what some would classify as old-fashioned values.

Like so many others I watched the ceremony with tears rolling down my face: what a glory! What an accomplishment! Things may actually get better! The US and perhaps the world have undergone a sea change.

But that promise of change is firmly rooted in old ideas like justice, equality, the rule of law, the need for taking responsiblity for one’s actions and for good government. These are values that I grew up believing in and which few have mentioned in the last couple of decades. How wonderful to hear them evoked again!

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