I personally don't believe there's such a thing as 'clean coal'. Nor do I believe there is such a thing as 'safe nuclear energy'.
Nevertheless, I want to know how we would recognize in real-time a President who would become beloved of the People; a President who would go down in history as
a 'Great Man'.
One man; Commander in Chief, and public servant to 300 million people who together, make up what we call the United
States of America (funny how 'united' can so easily be mis-typed as 'untied'...., like sacred comes out scrambled as 'scared'....). Hmmm.
So Mr President gets to frame the State of the Union.
I write now because I had a visceral response to Obama's delivery that was starkly juxtaposed with the last State of the Union Address that impacted me. Back in the day, we tuned into Bush Jr. giving his State of the Union soliloquy and I couldn't stay. I had forgotten until last night, that I had left the house in the middle of Bush's Address, and gone out to the wild beach I reserve for big emotions. I literally felt sick to my stomach.
evening, I could feel a tangible realm shift.
I have a dear colleague I hold in high regard. He has three times had occasion to interface one-on-one with Obama in this Presidency. Actually he has been challenging Obama, among other things, in his position on nuclear energy. He made a comment on Obama that has stayed with me. "The guy has a moral compass,"
he said, ("and I swear he never forgets a conversation!").
So, as with Obama's Nobel Address
, I felt mostly like I was watching, alert; studying him; wanting to discern what he's about and where he is coming from. As far as I can tell, no political Leader, while actually in office,
come up to par, and I am wanting to know if there is a way to draw from present-time, that this is as bright a character as we could Hope to have in Office at this point in our history.
When the Scottish Parliament reconvened in 1999 after a gap of almost 300 years;
'The Scottish parliament, adjourned on 25th March 1707, is hereby reconvened..'
we had a hefty dose of skepticism that it would be business as usual despite the fanfare. Then we were caught by surprise to find ourselves deeply moved as the seat of power was restored to the Scottish People, and moved too when Queen Elizabeth II formally acknowledged the Scottish People were sovereign unto themselves, even as she asserted her Sovereignty!
The New Scottish Parliament was built in the Round, at the foot of Arthur's Seat, and we felt the moment as epochal after all:
"On the Mound yesterday something new did happen, just for once, without self-consciousness, from beneath the weight of history, with a sense of honest purpose. This process will take us only where we want to go. Just for once, we cannot say that we have seen it all before. Yesterday, for a moment, Edinburgh was the only place in the world to be..."
The following year, when we were in Edinburgh, we were excited to be carving out time to sit in on the Scottish Parliament in Session.
The scene, to our dismay, was abysmal and, indeed, had all the same dreadful elements that have held sway for centuries in the London Parliament. Those self-same elements in Congress, that Obama was speaking to last night.
What we sat through in Edinburgh was the antithesis of what Jim Wallace
had put forth at the Opening Ceremonies of the Scottish Parliament: "Our Parliament must be open and inclusive, willing to consult and willing to listen. It must recognise and celebrate Scotland's rich diversity: islands, highlands and lowlands, urban and rural, people, young and old, from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds."
On the day we sat in at Holyrood
, the Session was poorly attended and those who were presentwere not.
Casting back to that day I can feel it ; viscerally again,
and can convey that feeling by saying the Parliamentarians who were in attendance of a colleague presenting a bill were variously nail-filing, reading the paper, jeering loudly, and having full in-depth conversations that could not possibly allow for any genuine listening.
When we finally walked out of the Chambers we did the only thing we could think to do to feel better quick; climbed to the top of Arthur's Seat to blast out the horror of what we had just witnessed. We did feel sick. That was my only time, but my sister, who was a student there, went several times and found it the same each time.
I am convinced that we are dealing with the 'weight of history', and the legacy of an aristocracy which was synonymous with Nation State politics & posturing. The terms of engagement, in Parliament and in the Senate, remind me of characters in old London's PUNCH
magazine, and seem to differ little today from the Parliamentary scene
depicted in the latest Young Victoria
So, I for one am relieved to hear Obama address this sorry trait in a still fledgling Democracy. I am sure the fundamental flaw was transported lock, stock & barrel, across the ocean, and if this character who now struts his hour upon our stage is truly intent upon Changing Normal
.... I want to be wise to that Now,