August 21, 2020


Biden offers himself as an "ally of the light" (Hans Nichols, Alayna Treene, Margaret Talev, 8/21/20, Axios)

In last night's acceptance speech, Joe Biden never said President Trump's name. The former vice president used the biggest stage of his 50 years in politics to humanize himself, with the intended subtext: "I am you. You are me."

If you didn't know anything about Biden before last night, you'd remember four things: He conquered a childhood stutter, he lost his wife and daughter, found redemption and joy in Jill, then encountered grief again when Beau died.

Why it matters: A country burying its dead is being offered a chance to hire someone who knows how to grieve. [...]

"Morning" Joe Scarborough called Biden's tone "Reaganesque."

Biden said he "will be an ally of the light":

The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division. ...

May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation.

A perfect metaphor:

In support of these premises, Niebuhr applied the metaphors of children of darkness and children of light to two basic approaches to democratic life. The children of light are those who recognize that self-interest must be disciplined by a more universal law whereas the children of darkness are those who see no universal law beyond the self either individually or nationally. 

Niebuhr suggested that modern democracies mainly consist of children of light who recognize the need for a more universal law to govern self-interest. Yet, too often  they also entertained a form of sentimentalism that underestimated the power of self-interest either among the moral cynics (children of darkness) or even among themselves. In short, the children of light have not always understood that inordinate self-love corrupts every level of human moral and social achievement and thus do not provide the necessary mechanisms to balance individual and collective interests.

Posted by at August 21, 2020 7:10 AM