John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


History Calls

Posted on November 11, 2008

History Calls


            History calls. 


            The nation elects its first black President.


            I was opposed to the man, but not the history.


            I was opposed to the man because he hadn’t done much before he ran for President.


            I was opposed to the man because I don’t like his philosophy of spreading the wealth.


            But I like the history.  And I am proud of America for making it.


            I want the man to succeed because I want America to succeed.


            I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.


            But I also know that history proceeds in strange ways, and rarely in a straight line.


            A reaction begets a counter-reaction.  A slight glimpse of synthesis rarely lasts for long.


            The center never holds alone.  It only balances gingerly on the tectonic plates of thesis and anti-thesis, of yin and yang, of hot and cold, of conservative and liberal.


            This one moment in time, in all of its euphoria, will not last for long.  Cold, hard reality will come eventually.


            And, yes, amid the deepest depths of economic concern the seeds of prosperity are born.  That is the nature of our world.


            To wit:  As housing prices increase, less people can buy, and then the prices fall, and more people buy and then the prices increase, and on the cycle goes, as the market dictates until the government steps in, and in the name of compassion, screws it all up. 


            As Lincoln once said, this too will pass.


            The right moves right and the left moves left, and then they both shift to the center, sometimes in concert, sometimes in conflict.


            Ah, the vital center.  How important for victory, but how muddled for the pure!


            Politics is not for the pure.  Politics is for those willing to listen and willing to endure the slings and arrows of the pure.


            The history-maker intimates that he is the pure.  But he can’t be both pure and productive.


            He promises change.


            He acknowledges that he is merely a vessel for that change. 


            His promise is bold:  to change politics to make it safe for the pure.


            But that necessarily means that he won’t govern from the center because governing from the center means messy compromise and messy compromise is not good enough for the pure.


            I think he will govern for the pure, and not from the middle.


            He will use his vast army of e-roots to change Washington.  He will use it like a battering ram to tear down those who oppose him. 


            He will use it to change the cycle of politics and cycle of history.  His boast is not just post-racial but post-partisan and post-ideological.  That seems like a mighty tall order for one man. 


            History humbles those who are not humble.  History bites those who bite off more than they can chew.


            I wonder if any history-maker can ever be truly humble.


            And I look at this man, this history-maker, this man who makes no little plans, and I wonder if he can truly ever be humble, especially in light of his magnificent triumph. 


            And I wonder now that he has made history, how he will change history.


            I am in favor of history. 


            I am glad that America made it.