Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Tucson speech

Ok, I perceive a certain approving consensus, right and left, about Obama's Tucson speech. Also the LD didn't hesitate to say that it was great, really presidential, he even perceived in it a touch of sincerity.

And though, I am diffident. I'll try to explain you why.

There was an old book by Michael Novak entitled "choosing our king". That's what the President of the United States is: an elected king. My diffidence comes from here.

In England it affirmed itself since the late eighteenth century a sort of diarchy between king and prime minister: the first reigns but doesn't govern, the second governs but doesn't reign. In spite of the fact that monarchy has disappeared almost everywhere else in Europe, something of the kind still holds true. In Italy, for example, after the defeat in WWII the king was substituted by a president, about whom, though, it can be said the same it is said of the king: he reigns but doesn't govern.

Not so in the US, where the president reigns and governs.

The present POTUS was great during the electoral campaign, making inspiring speeches, with people swooning of excitement. Those speeches were all about what would mean his reigning. Almost not a word about his governing, which actually turned disastrous. So on the whole also his reining failed: he had promised as a king to unite, once in govern he actually divided. And all those great speeches appeared to be mere electoral mockery.

We have now this new great speech. Is it a presidential speech? Or isn't it just an electoral speech in view of the second mandate, to regain the consensus that his disastrous governing made him lose?


1 comment:

juan o'callahan said...

The 'speech" does nothing to change the heart. Yes, a clever speech can change the head, and one's strategy, and tactic/s; and clever enough to lure in the impressionable observer..the press and even the likes of Peggy Noonan. But governance, once re-elected, will bore back in on what we know is in the heart. That is, to change America for the next half century (or more) to what America has never been heretofore.