Making History

From The Huffington Post:
We live in an age of what historian Thomas Frank calls instant forgetting. It’s not just that we forget things — it’s that we seem to replace the past with inexplicable fictions…

That renewal casts a pall on this era. For as fruitful as President Obama’s Administration has been, it would be hard to argue that his legislative triumphs have been accompanied by a renascence of public progressivism. Somehow the old, tired mantras of a bankrupt ideology — smaller government, deregulation, tax cuts above all — have carried the day in our discourse. Americans, it would seem, have already forgotten what got us in this mess in the first place…

It’s an ironic failure. Barack Obama may have rocketed to political stardom with his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, but it was another address — one devoted to a retelling of history — that made many progressives sit up and take notice at the beginning of his national career. On June 4, 2005, then-Senator Obama delivered the commencement address at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. It was a masterpiece of a speech, and it offers now what it offered then: a tantalizing glimpse of an Obama presidency that could tell a good story about progressivism.