Barack Obama is still an empty shell as far as I am concerned…
Still, David Brooks’ recent IHT article on what could make Obama a better President than Hillary Clinton can indicate a more hopeful way for politics to be conducted:
(a) Do not ratchet up hostilities; restrain them.
(b) Do not lash out at perceived enemies, but stay aloof from them.
(c) Learn from the pessimistic optimism of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln: detest anger as a motivating force, distrust easy dichotomies between the parties of good and evil, and believe instead that the crucial dichotomy runs between the good and bad within each individual (a Gandhian concept, actually)
(d) As per Isaiah Berlin’s essay “Political Judgment,” don’t think abstractly. Use powers of close observation.
(e) Step outside one’s own ego and look at reality in uninhibited and honest ways.
(f) Sympathize with and grasp the motivations of the rivals.