It’s terribly easy to forget the big picture during the madness of an election campaign. 44 Plays for 44 Presidents reminds us of the big picture, which is, despite the surface madness of elections, kind of a beautiful thing: We have a direct relationship with our leaders. This is not only because we hire and fire them periodically, but also because they stand for moments in our history when, as a people, we chose a single personality to respond to a set of vastly complex national needs. Those choices–to elect one leader to represent millions of people–say as much about the history of our people as as any other collection of names, dates, and wars.
The history of our Presidents, is the history of our people.
Because at the end of a long hall of Presidents, there now stands a very different wax figure. Love Barack Obama or hate him, the story of the Presidency has a new ending. 42 white men (quite often from Ohio from some reason), followed by one Barack H. Obama… with a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya.
Our current President himself is a believer in the long view, a President who prides himself on resisting the madness of the 24-hour news cycle by attempting to stay focussed on the larger issues.
In an age when the short-term memory of the media (and the politicians and public, to be fair) has gotten even shorter, and gets shorter by the election cycle, we believe it’s time to celebrate the long view.