In case you missed it in Tuesday’s NYTimes, a few takeaways from David Brooks’ insightful editorial on Obama’s Christian Realism. The cultural shift he describes is particularly interesting. Speaking about the WWII generation he writes:
“[You, and others of your era] you would have had a lingering awareness of the sinfulness within yourself. As the cold war strategist George F. Kennan would put it: “The fact of the matter is that there is a little bit of the totalitarian buried somewhere, way down deep, in each and every one of us.”
So as you act to combat evil, you wouldn’t want to get carried away by your own righteousness or be seduced by the belief that you are innocent. Even fighting evil can be corrupting.
“After Vietnam, most liberals moved on. It became unfashionable to talk about evil. Some liberals came to believe in the inherent goodness of man and the limitless possibilities of negotiation… Barack Obama never bought into these shifts. In the past few weeks, he has revived the Christian realism that undergirded cold war liberal thinking and tried to apply it to a different world.”