I have lived through every presidential administration since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and I don’t remember a speech more inspirational than Barack Obama’s at the 50-year Selma commemoration.
He left little unsaid in his catalog of American democracy and exceptionalism. His vast inclusive list of American energy, enterprise and spirit was as moving to me as the lines of “Leaves of Grass,” by Walt Whitman, America’s greatest poet.
Both vividly celebrate the diversity, range and multiplicity of the American experience through lucid, evocative and detailed scenarios. One is struck with their love of all that is America.
Mr. Whitman uses the term “divine average” in his great poem, and Obama, although extolling American exceptionalism, strongly implies that democratic Whitman view. After all, it took the “divine average” to give us this exceptional president.