Liberals always give the active man short shrift. That's why Hamlet is their favorite play. Forever extolling someone like Obama for his intelligence, his oratory and his cool, they overlook the need for some kind of animating fire underlying things. Since most lefties seem to worship ideas instead of deeds, it follows that they distrust leaders who emphasize force over theory. Most elections come down to a choice between candidates that evince either action or reflection, deed or word, fire or ice, in defining their character. Last time around McCain took a drubbing for being hot headed, while his cool opponent was portrayed as essence of suave. McCain had fight. Too much! Four years earlier, however, force was in and reflection, again, not too much, please. And in the primaries, even committee queen Clinton couldn't outdo the One when it came to emotional control, try as she might. Now the question starts to emerge: is there any emotion there to control? Hillary got another faceful last week when they began asking, "Still angry after all these years?" But Mr. Cool must be scratching that clever little cranium of his and wondering of late where he, too, might get hold of some of that exotic political elixir called anger. Not, he may be sure, out of a book. Much less off a policy statement. And never from a committee.
Nations on the rise or seeking to consolidate their empires will always favor forceful leaders. Those undergoing contraction will tend toward the reflective type, the better to rationalize their loss of heat and hegemony. Not for nothing have the Americans reversed the usual coloration of politics so that conservatives garnered the flaming red state designation while their opposites were assigned the passive and contemplative blue. Not for nothing have the former controlled the White House for the vast majority of the time since the last World War. And not for nothing does Obama now sit in that same White House contriving ways to control the climate, dispose of the sick, and get his mojo back.