Let's take a glance at the politics, as a backdrop.
First, let me say this blog has been intentionally non-partisan, as partisan approaches are self-defeating and prevent clear thinking. But even this kind of discipline is only a logical necessity, and not about the greater questions in life, which are on another level altogether.
So let's look at the world of illusion for a moment, so that we can gain hints from the unusual eddy in the water.
When a political movement begins spreading a desperately dramatic misrepresentation that goes so overboard as does the "euthanizing the elderly" meme, well...this is unusual, and...self-defeating, even on the political level, in time.
Conservative critics say the legislation could limit end-of-life care and even encourage euthanasia. Moreover, some assert, it would require people to draw up plans saying how they want to die.
These concerns appear to be unfounded. AARP, the lobby for older Americans, says, “The rumors out there are flat-out lies.” -- NYtimes
This is the inevitable consequence of making up such dramatic rumors (aka lies). The chickens will come home to roost, someday.
This political game could be at great cost to the Republican Party, unless they violently distance themselves. Once wider credibility is lost, recovering it may not be possible.
But that's only politics. Which is only an eddy on a river in some sense.
A larger game is afoot.
One much deeper and more meaningful than "political" calculations of who's up and who's down, and "Waterloos" and such.
Obama hasn't yet laid into Palin et al.
He hasn't taken them to the woodshed the way he could, if he chose, which would be so easy.
Instead of connecting these deceptions to his opponents, Obama mildly undoes the rumors themselves.
Consider the temper of his response.
Opponents contend revised health care will result in a government-run system where people are denied care. But Obama says as specifics of a bill emerge in the fall, the arguments will become more reasoned.
This kind of restraint seems so unusual in a President, to me. Not just unusual lately, or for a decade or two. Has a President acted like this before?
Obama is acting with such character that it is frankly unforeseen. For lack of a better word, this kind of character is...Christian, in many ways. Since when did a President actually act like a Christian? I mean an actual Christian, if I can even communicate with the word. Not at all like what we are accustomed to seeing. Something rare. Now-a-days we use a word like Saint, but this has connotations I don't seek here. Have we even had a truly Christian President? Not for decades, I'm sure. Carter may have been to some extent, but couldn't really communicate. Christian is normally pretty much unattainable in the world of power. And it's still no sure thing. But even where we are at is amazing.
Those hoping to score political points against Obama don't even realize the playing field they are on.
They have no idea what is even going on.
They are sheep in the woods.
A larger contest is being played out here. We are seeing something like a contest for the soul of the nation.
Polls will not tell us much.
The psychological/soulful outcome of these times will take years to unfold and become fully visible.
I don't expect Obama to be perfect. He's human, so he's bound to make mistakes. Still, I'm taken aback at the way he is operating.
Expect the media and most columnists to be clueless. They simply have no idea how things like this work.
Even the mainstream media of three decades ago probably wouldn't understand I think.
We mostly have children in a sandbox now, though some sit on the side and do mental flights of calculation.
Watching Obama, I am reminded that there is a Soul of our nation. A Soul in America.
A soul is usually steady, but a soul can move, change.
America can remain the same for decades, longer, and it can change in character in a flash of days and months, only a brief moment in time.
We won't know for a while, with the mind, what the outcome of this is.