Martin Peretz of The New Republic writes of the history of his magazine and his own passions concerning past presidents. In the conclusion of the article, he summarizes his take on the over-arching purposes of Obama’s presidency:
“… we [The New Republic Editors] begin his administration as partisans of his essential purposes. These are, I believe:
1. to reconstruct the American social contract so that it enlarges the rewards to all as it allows for gains to those who invest wealth, energy, commitment, and imagination to any and all productive enterprise in the country;
2. to develop new rules insuring that what we call free enterprise should not be captive of secrecy, deceit, lust, and untested fashion;
3. to reestablish and expand American might, in concert with traditional democratic allies, so that it is intrinsically convincing and prudently used on behalf of and with decent societies endangered by aggression and subverted by either armed doctrine or terror;
4. to recognize that the international system is broken and simply unwilling … to transcend its degrading but pretentious addictions. The plight of Darfur and of the Congo are only the most up-to-date and prominent instances of this failure. (Let me be clear on this: I believe that many of Obama's people are deluded by the United Nations, which is the perfect expression of this collapse.)”
These are lofty and worthy purposes. On this Thanksgiving Day we can be proud and grateful that our leadership is embracing them. Sure, the devil is in the details. Yes, the team members have been aligned with less worthy purposes in the past. But today there is the very real hope and the promise that they will unite in Obama’s administration, and will use their political experience and clout to realize the vision and bring us into a new era where our democracy works for everyone—the rich, the poor, the proud, and the humble—for Americans and for the world at large.