În 2008 s-a scris pînă la saturaţie despre acest politician extraordinar şi campania sa electorală excepţională din toate punctele de vedere — inclusiv al fraudelor de finanţare — însă cea mai bună piesă, de departe, este eseul publicat în vară de Michael Knox în revista new-yorkeză City Journal, un eseu care excelează prin profunzime şi claritate. Recomandat oricui, indiferent de simpatia sau scepticismul stîrnite de candidatura lui Obama.
One of the objects of a mature political philosophy is to reconcile people to the painful limitations of their condition. The American Founders recognized this, as did the English statesmen who presided at the Revolution of 1688: they rejected utopianism.
Unlike the English Whigs and the American Founders, the modern liberal regards suffering not as an unavoidable element of life but as an aberration to be corrected by up-to-date political, economic, and hygienic arrangements. Rather than acknowledge the limitations of our condition, the liberal continually contrives panaceas that will enable us to transcend it.
Barack Obama, in taking up the part of regenerative healer, is the latest panacea.
The danger of Obama’s charismatic healer-redeemer fable lies in the hubris it encourages, the belief that gifted politicians can engender a selfless communitarian solidarity. Such a renovation of our national life would require not only a change in constitutional structure—the current system having been geared to conflict by the Founders, who believed that the clash of private interests helps preserve liberty—but also a change in human nature. Obama’s conviction that it is possible to create a beautiful politics, one in which Americans will selflessly pursue a shared vision of the common good, recalls the belief that Dostoyevsky attributed to the nineteenth-century Russian revolutionists: that, come the revolution, “all men will become righteous in one instant.” The perfection would begin.