An Obama mandate could potentially transform American politics for a generation. The Senator seems to embody a commitment to sincere deliberation, community, and compromise. He views the American republic as a rich assortment of diverse cultures, all attracted to the United States for its grounding in the ideas of liberty, equality, and especially community. American society and politics may have never seen anyone like him before. And the obstacles to his success are formidable. American culture has been rooted in fractious, political warfare from 1796 to the present. Keep in mind that some of these battles have been important and desirable. They help the community identify and refine the values that have sustained us through a series of crises and transformations. Yet, demonic elements in these transformations are often corrosive precluding civility, honesty, and truth. Campaign 2008 is a text book study in how to poison fundamental American values. Together with the advent of internet news and commentary and instant cable chatter, this campaign has a sui generis distinction. It perverts deliberative discourse. However, Obama’s “deliberative conversationalism” and quest for community has the power to transform American civic culture. The bellicose forces of darkness–the individuals groups unable or unwilling to deliberate in good faith–will never go quietly into that good night. Obama will need patience from both principled conservatives and principled liberals until the contrast between conservatives and liberals no longer has much currency. If Obama garners an electoral mandate for change, ECA will try to explore his deliberative conversationalism and how this method of resolving political disagreement or better stated how this method for rationally creating agreement can transform American politics. However, beware what sorts of obstacles the dark forces will continue to place in his path. There will be much to examine in Obama’s era of unity. But first he must win the election the old fashioned way: by fighting for it.
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