The Soul of America
The Battle for Our Better AngelsLarge Print - 2018
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“The Presidency is not merely an administrative office. That’s the least of it. It is more than an engineering job, efficient or inefficient. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership.”—FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
“In our finest hours, though, the soul of the country manifests itself in an inclination to open our arms rather than to clench our fists; to look out rather than to turn inward; to accept rather than to reject.” - p. 8
“The story of America is...one of slow, often unsteady steps forward. If we expect the trumpets of a given era to sound unwavering notes, we will be disappointed, for the past tells us that politics is an uneven symphony.” - p. 103
So what can we, in our time, learn from the past, even while we're getting knocked in the head? That the perfect should not be the enemy of the good. That compromise is the oxygen of democracy. And that we learn the most from those who came before not by gazing up at them uncritically or down on them condescendingly but by looking them in the eye and taking their true measure as human beings, not as gods.
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