A Man Apart

'At first I thought his initial popularity would carry him through to a second term. But as each day passes and the false, almost inappropriate gestures register with the people, Americans are beginning to recognize this president as a man apart. He is our stranger in a land he doesn’t understand.

Americans are not warlike; nor does imperial ambition fill their soul. They have done almost nothing for which daily apologies are necessary. Their blood soaks the beaches of Normandy; their graves litter European towns. And their fortune saved millions from the plight of destitution. Americans do not appreciate a man so removed from their history, so out of tune with the American experience, that he reflexively expresses regret for the very conditions that should engender pride.

Perhaps this president will learn. But I am not confident that can happen. His life experience without a father in his home and a mother seeking adventure abroad was unstable. His closest associates vilified the nation he now leads. Is it any wonder his wife said she could take no pride in America till now? The past is to be rejected. Milestones in history are erased from memory as storage, cast aside as unnecessary.

This is a unique moment in our history. It is certainly the only time in my life when our national instincts are being reconditioned. From a nation that was a model to the world, we are now told that superiority is unbecoming, a hindrance for the emergence of global egalitarianism.

President Obama, as a man apart, may attempt this recasting of America. But, as I see it, America is not yet ready for his experimentation and, most likely, never will be.'

- Herbert London, 'Barack Obama: A Man Apart'.


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