Obama

Amplified: Obama and Uncomfortable Progress on Who We Are

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It’s not surprising that it was Obama’s take on Trump that made the headlines from a much more extensive interview with NPR’s Steve Innskeep. There’s a question that appears to be stuck on repeat today, a question of “national identity, who we are.” That was Innskeep’s proposition but Obama’s answer suggests this question has nagged us since the beginning. Recognizing these persistent questions and the moments when we start changing our answers is an important act of citizenship. The “Amplified Treatment” of the text below is intended to focus on the most substantive and timeless pieces of Obama’s response to Innskeep’s question…

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Inauguration 2013: The Bridge between Words and Realities

Inauguration 2013: The Bridge between Words and Realities

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This bridge between our words and the “realities of our time” is how Barack Obama described our “never-ending journey” in the United States. There is much to think about in the words the President chose for his 2nd Inaugural speech yesterday and the various snapshots the media has provided us of Americans who either made the trek to the nation’s capital or their local coffee shop to watch the event as a community of people. This post is a glancing blow, a first shot at sharing some of the ideas in the air this week. Many of our alumni are welcoming students…

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It’s America and We are One

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Did you see the We are One celebration yesterday? It was a powerful combination of our best words, music, and ideas. From the MLK and JFK quotes you’d expect to Reagan quotes you wouldn’t. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Mary J. Blige or Jon Bon Jovi but they provided a moving performance with a gritty civil rights classic “A Change is Gonna Come.” Most know me as a U2 fan and it’s Bono’s words that provoked this post. Brian Williams from NBC’s Nightly News interviewed Bono after rehearsals Saturday night. Bono was overheard to say it felt like…

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Campaign 2008 in the Box

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Sparking curiosity and provoking puzzled stares, Professor Harris proposed his model of Federalist and Antifederalist thinking provides a useful lens for understanding this year’s presidential candidates. Those of us who want to draw a straight line to match today’s political parties to the Federalist and Antifederalist perspectives were baffled. How in the world did Hillary end up in the same set of boxes as McCain and Bush? The categories proposed for each candidate include… Barack Obama is a red box Federalist driven by his understanding of us as a people committed to particular principles and one another. Hillary Clinton is…

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