American Adam

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THE PLANK NOVEMBER 5, 2008

American Adam

Watching last night's celebration, the piece that I kept thinking about was Judis's essay on Obama and the "cult of the new."

Obama is the candidate of the new--a "new generation," a "new leadership," a "new kind of politics," to borrow phrases he has used. But, in emphasizing newness, Obama is actually voicing a very old theme. When he speaks of change, hope, and choosing the future over the past, when he pledges to end racial divisions or attacks special interests, Obama is striking chords that resonate deeply in the American psyche. He is making a promise to voters that is as old as the country itself: to wipe clean the slate of history and begin again from scratch. 

 --Franklin Foer 

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