Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coronation / second coming

I have been fighting the urge to make a dyspeptic post about the inauguration all day but I am afraid I finally succumbed after the Gordon Brown bit noted below.

I did not watch the event itself but it was an odd day indeed:

- on British TV in the morning Michelle Obama was declared "the first lady of fashion" and a "one woman stimulus package for the fashion industry".

- I just saw British prime minister Gordon Brown's media clip about the inauguration. He noted that Britain and "America" have been on good terms for "over 200 years", a period that includes the War of 1812 between, well, Britain and "America". I thought these British pols at least learned a bit more history than their US counterparts. Evidently not.

Treating the inauguration like a coronation seems to me deeply illiberal. A liberal polity is not a polity that wants or needs "one great man" to unify it or lead it or change it or inspire it with hope. Unity is not what free people are about - the pursuit of diverse individual paths to happiness is what free people are about.

Blecch. Too much state today.