Topic: "Man For All Seasons" (2)
Three years older than was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and with more time served in the Congress of the United States than Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama (D-IL) today officially becomes a candidate for President of the United States. Senator Obama announced his candidacy in the town of Springfield, Illinois. It was a bitterly cold day. The very breath of a nation seemed to blow about and disappear amidst the words of unity and mission.
Frodo has heard enough such announcements, and dreads the fact that, invariably, more are to follow. It is amazing, he thought, what 1400 days of failure since the declaration of "Mission Accomplished" have done to forever alter the balance of power that seemingly worked so well since the Spring of 1865. The apparent deliberate effort to strengthen the Presidency against the other components of government has diluted the confidence of the American people. The Congress is seen as weak and interminably preoccupied with procedure-versus-policy. The Judiciary has become little more than the appointed shill of the ideologue, at least in the mind of the voter. The Presidency itself, is a reflection of a part-time snake-oil salesman who has never gotten a grasp on what exactly he was supposed to be doing. The result is a divisiveness which seems to permeate everything.
That is why Frodo looks up to Barack Obama. There is no consideration for his "ethnicity." Whether he is liberal or conservative is not an issue to Frodo. What does matter is that Obama stood with Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Frodo Baggins when they seemed to be the only inhabitants of Middle Earth who opposed the Pre-Emptive War. There is an air of "statesmanship" as opposed to "politician" about this young man.
Frodo is trying very hard not to paint a messianic portrait of a human being with flaws. Perhaps the analogy is of young Luke Skywalker, guided by the last of the Jedi Knights, to rise to a level of responsibility not sought, but accepted. In this winter of our continuing discontent, it is Frodo's fondest hope that in the spring to come the young man from Illinois will grow wiser still and become even more determined to bring all the peoples of Middle Earth together. Only then will the forces of darkness pull back from the horizon.
Frodo looks forward to the day when differing opinions again become the crux of progress, rather than instruments of divisiveness. If Barack Obama is the one to reach out to each of us, then so be it.