THE SPINE FEBRUARY 8, 2008
It just may be that we Americans are too enmeshed in the intra-party fracas--the Democratic one, at least--to see that the country will by election day have crossed the big river. No, not into the promised land exactly. But into that land that, as George Washington put it in his 1790 letter to the Touro Synagogue, "gives to bigotry no sanction..." There should be felt a glory in each of us that, likely, the next president of the United States will be an African American or a woman. This would be another version of the Emancipation Proclamation, but proclaimed by the demos itself not by the chief executive.And even if the black candidate or the female one is not finally the choice of the electorate, but the Republican nominee is the victor, we shall also be liberated from the cult of money as reward from the hidden hand. The military hero has his own virtues, and none of them is extremism.Which brings me to a short essay in by Philip Stephens in Friday's Financial Times, "A chance to redesign the contours of American politics." I think it is grander than that: a chance to redesign the contours of American history.