(Obama) will have to embrace our national sense of uniqueness and give voice to what Ronald Reagan said of us: “You can call it mysticism if you want to, but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage.” Dick MorrisDavid Seaton's News Links
What does he offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it’s central to an effective war strategy. Andrew Sullivan
Magical thinking is a common phase in child development. From the age of a toddler to early school age children will often link the outside world with their internal consciousness, e.g. "It is raining because I am sad".(...) Another form of magical thinking occurs when people believe that words can directly affect the world. This can mean avoiding talking about certain subjects ("speak of the devil and he'll appear"), using euphemisms instead of certain words, or believing that to know the "true name" of something gives one power over it, or that certain chants, prayers or mystical phrases will change things. More generally, it is magical thinking to take a symbol to be its referent. Wikipedia
For a people once known for their practical, empirical approach to problem solving, today's Americans seem eager to take comfort in evading reality. Eight years of Bush have done great damage to America's inflated image of itself... but probably not enough damage for our own good.
That's why I think it's a shame that Bush can't be president for a least eight years more. In the same way that forty years of Franco's rule was the bitter aversion therapy that finally produced the peaceful, tolerant moderate, open, liberal Spain of today... in a land that had made the word "inquisition" famous; so the Bush years seem to have planted some seeds that, properly nurtured, might actually produce a lucid, practical, American left.
But, alas, I'm afraid that the temptation to continued self-hypnosis may be too great for Americans to resist. DS