A Third Way approach to politics works from Christian principles to applaud what is worthy and to critique what is not. It is not tied to defending any politician on every issue or stance. I was not surprised by Obama’s decisions last week about abortion, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak out against them. We dare not play the game of loyalty to a party or a President. I have to admit that I was disappointed some evangelicals who supported Obama didn’t speak up last week about his decisions about abortion. I wanted to see more about abortion reduction and pregnancy reduction, but that is not what I heard. I saw no reason to wait to hear or see more. We are called to the gospel and a gospel life. I think that will inevitably lead to the Third Way.
Having said that, what attribute of Barack Obama do you think of first?
Of all the attributes of Barack Obama, the one I observe the most is his gravity. Different Presidents in the USA present themselves with various images, and it would be fun to think of defining attributes of Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, and GW Bush.
But what I observe so often in the face, demeanor, and tone of Obama is gravity: life and politics and vision, local problems and world issues for Obama are each matters of utmost seriousness and importance. He doesn’t seem to ratchet up his concern when he gets near the White House; that concern was visible in Ohio and Louisiana and California and Illinois. He is serious with the ordinary worker who lost her job and he takes the economy seriously.
He took himself seriously decades back; he takes himself seriously; he takes his vision seriously; he takes his speeches seriously; everything is important to him because he seems to see the implications of the smallest of things.
In addition, there is a sense of dignity and solemnity about everything he does. Everything. He does smile when he plays basketball, and there is a sparkle in his eyes with his girls and his wife and he can dance a bit, but Barack Obama is a man of gravity — and we need a President like that in a time like ours.