Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Something I'm Reading

One of the books that I am reading this summer is The Audacity of Hope, written by Barak Obama. By now, of course, almost everyone knows that Senator Obama is running for the Democratic nomination for president of The United States. That is certainly a large part of why I am reading the book. It is part of my wanting to be informed as I begin the process of preparing for that election in 2008. I have to say, though, that I have been surprised by the book. It isn't what I expected it to be. I like that very much. Reading, when it is wonderful, should be challenging and surprising. I find myself arguing, in my mind, with the senator. I don't always agree with him. He and I would have interesting and lively conversations, I think. I don't necessarily like everything that Senator Obama thinks, but I do very much like the way he thinks. He seems careful and deliberate and inclusive in the way he approaches his thinking about the important issues that our nation faces. So, for example, he is clear that he disagrees with President Bush on many points -- and at the same time, just as clear that he very much likes the man. How fascinating! I am not finished with the book yet. I am currently reading through a section that discusses the writing of our constitution, and the process and thinking that went into the document that forms the foundation of our nation. Obama explores the many very different points of view that clashed in the beginnings of our country as The Founding Fathers thrashed out the details of HOW this United States would come to be. He writes (in part):
"The Founders recognized that there were seeds of anarchy in the idea of individual freedom, an intoxicating danger in the idea of equality, for if everybody is truly free, without the constraints of birth or rank or an inherited social order -- if my notion of faith is no better or worse than yours, and my notions of truth and goodness and beauty are as true and good and beautiful as yours -- then how can we ever hope to form a society that coheres? ...writing before the American Revolution (they) concluded that only a democracy could fulfill the need for both freedom and order -- a form of government in which those who are governed grant their consent, and the laws constraining liberty are uniform, predictable, and transparent, applying equally to the rulers and the ruled. "
What are you reading this summer? Have you read or heard or seen anything that interests you and makes you think? I really hope so.

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