Now is a time to savor the way the nominating process has come out. Before the usual polarizing interests do their worst to try to make you HATE THE OTHER GUY, it’s time to reflect upon the fact that the best candidate won each of the major parties’ nominations. And that has not happened in a lifetime.
You’ll recall, from what I have written and from this hastily produced video I did on the day we endorsed Barack Obama (10 days after endorsing John McCain) in the S.C. primaries, that this is the outcome I had hoped for, the win-win for our nation.
If you — and unfortunately, I’ve noticed that some of my readers have already toed their respective party lines and starting spewing venom toward the other side’s candidate, like so obedient little soldiers in what they imagine to be a war — can’t see how blessed we are this year (as opposed to the lousy choice we had, say, four years ago), maybe you need to step back for a moment. If you step back, say, as far as London, maybe you can see what The Economist sees.
That British publication’s cover this week celebrates both John McCain and Barack Obama, with the headline, "America at its best." Indeed. An excerpt from the main leader (that’s Brit jargon for "editorial"):
… In John McCain, the Republicans chose a man whose political courage has led him constantly to attempt to forge bipartisan deals and to speak out against the Bush administration when it went wrong. Conservatives may hate him, but even they can see that he offers the party its only realistic hope in November.
Mr Obama has demonstrated charisma, coolness under fire and an impressive understanding of the transforming power of technology in modern politics. Beating the mighty Clinton machine is an astonishing achievement. Even greater though, is his achievement in becoming the first black presidential nominee of either political party. For a country whose past is disfigured by slavery, segregation and unequal voting rights, this is a moment to celebrate. America’s history of reinventing and perfecting itself has acquired another page.
Note that The Economist can see that these are mortal men, and each has his weaknesses. But in the end, these choices are good news for America, and about America:
Both candidates have their flaws and their admirable points; the doughty but sometimes cranky old warrior makes a fine contrast with the inspirational but sometimes vaporous young visionary. Voters now have those five months to study them before making up their minds (and The Economist will be doing the same). But, on the face of it, this is the most impressive choice America has had for a very long time.