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Aiming for
the moon
think it would be an exciting bring America out of a dismal
time to live in America just war and a deepening recession.
now. There is optimism Rather than the usual promises
that comes with hope and a of a politician, or directing blame
new leadership that has its to the previous administration,
mind open to change. What Obama asks for sacrifice and
a contrast to here in the UK offers to build community.
where we seem to be bereft of
inspirational leadership and We will learn soon enough just
every news item focuses on how well President Obama and
problems and depression rather his group can deliver on his lofty
than solutions and hope. campaign promises. According
to his chief strategist, “He is very
I read a feature on Barack Obama centered and calm. The more
in a recent issue of Vanity Fair. It challenging things become, the
comprised mostly of photographs more focused he gets”.
of his various teams and one
headline which jumped out at me. The thing which jumped out at me
in the article was a statement from
When he began his quest for the the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
presidency two years ago, Obama “We are going to take a moon
told a crowd in Springfield, shot on Energy Independence.
Illinois “I know you did not come The unifying agenda of our
here just for me, you came here nation is energy. Failure is not an
because you believe in what this option.”
country can be.” Though his
detractors rushed to declare him What relevance is all this to a folk
too young, too inexperienced, music magazine? First of all I
a one term African-American love the idea of ‘taking a moon
senator with an odd name, he shot’. When the going is tough it
held out a potent combination is arguably more important to take
of hope and promise and an the time to think – and if you are
exhilarating chance to make going to think, you may as well
history. His flawlessly executed think big! I also think that we can
campaign challenged convention, learn something from Obama’s
brought a new generation into focus on Community and Hope.
politics and allowed him to collect
the largest number of votes in a The trouble with advice is that it is
Presidential election in history. often conflicting. ‘Diversify or Die’
“Rather than the usual promises of a
politician, or directing blame to the
previous administration, Obama asks for
sacrifice and offers to build community.”
With Obama’s victory, a was the headline in another article
yearning for a new start, despite I read recently in a photography
horrendous obstacles, is once magazine, advising on ways of
again ascendant in the USA. He weathering the economic storm.
has chosen an exciting team and Focus is the other piece of advice
he counts on them to be collegial we usually hear on that subject.
rather than partisan, ready to hit These two pieces of advice at first
the ground running and start to appear contradictory but on closer
The Living Tradition - Page 
Issue82.indd 4 24/2/09 13:51:31
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