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Monday, February 25, 2008
Robert Reich, Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, has a new must-read piece:
[T]he striking thing about Obama, and the enthusiasm he has stirred up, has little to do with the specifics of the policies he advances. It is rather his almost pitch-perfect echo of the John F. Kennedy we heard in 1960 and the Robert Kennedy last heard in 1968. It is a call for national unity and national sacrifice -- not in the interest of military prowess but in the cause of social justice, both in the nation and around the world.
Neither John F. Kennedy nor his brother Robert were idealists. They were realists who understood the importance of idealism in the service of realism. They grasped the central political fact that little can be achieved in Washington unless or until the public is energized and mobilized to push for it; the status quo is simply too powerful. The ideals they enunciated helped mobilized the nation politically. That mobilization contributed to the subsequent passage of civil rights and voting rights laws, Medicare, and environmental protection.
Read More: 2008 and 1968
Earlier: Check out my article on how Obama can effect change, which echoes what Mr. Reich has to say above.