After reading this New Republic article, God-o-Meter is convinced that it’s not as big a stretch as it sounds. Here’s the gist:

Obama is the candidate of the new–a “new generation,” a “new leadership,” a “new kind of politics,” to borrow phrases he has used. But, in emphasizing newness, Obama is actually voicing a very old theme. When he speaks of change, hope, and choosing the future over the past, when he pledges to end racial divisions or attacks special interests, Obama is striking chords that resonate deeply in the American psyche. He is making a promise to voters that is as old as the country itself: to wipe clean the slate of history and begin again from scratch.
Looming over all of American history–but particularly the country’s formative years–is the Biblical figure of Adam, the only person, according to the West’s major religions, to have lived unburdened by what came before him. As literary critic R.W.B. Lewis wrote in 1955, in his wonderful book The American Adam, early generations of Americans became captivated by the idea that they could create a future without reference to the past. The revolutionaries who fought for America’s independence saw themselves as breaking not only with the Old World but with history itself….
Today, the conditions seem propitious for another Adamic moment: six years of fruitless war, the looming prospect of another recession, a political system paralyzed by partisanship. Enter Barack Obama…


Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus