Many academic liberals see themselves as eminently rational and others as warped or dumb. Some conservatives readily grasp the importance of worldviews because, surrounded as they are by generally hostile big media, they come to see how people look at the same facts and come to different conclusions. Many liberals aren't forced daily to think presuppositionally, so it's easy for them to view dissenters as psychologically or intellectually inferior.
I was in Ethiopia as the story of Obama's San Francisco declaration rolled through the press, and from the vantage point of Addis Ababa's slums it's hard to accept. The homes of the American poor are not pressed-together shanties of cardboard, mud, and corrugated metal that sit precariously perched on slopes of mud and feces. Our health system can be frustrating but people with fractures don't wait for days in dark corridors without medical attention.
The audacious part of Obama's hopefulness is now clear: He wants all Americans to move to the liberal side, and then we'll have unity. He audaciously characterizes millions of contemporary Americans as crippled individuals whose only hope is the nanny state. He will bring us together not with new ideas but with eloquent repackaging of the same old same old.
The sad part of this saga is that young people excited by Obama's eloquence may slide all the way to bitterness if Hillary Clinton somehow grabs the nomination or, as is more likely, John McCain plays the Electoral College map well and wins in November. Four years of Barack Obama would educate those who have been following this season's Pied Piper, but the tuition cost would be more than this nation should bear.