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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 29, 2008 at 4:20 PM

President-elect Barack Obama

A healthy dose of skepticism

I was reading Nicole Brodeur’s column in The Seattle Times and couldn’t help but shake my head [“Lifting the weight of a nation,” News, Dec. 26]. Has the true messiah truly come?

I know you didn’t say as much, but that is what the expectations you elucidated seem to indicate — one man, with the power of unreasonable expectations and the verbal loquacity of Cicero himself, can “save” this nation from its seemingly inevitable fate.

Were these the same expectations heaped upon President George W. Bush who received an economy in decline in 2000? Or former President Ronald Reagan in 1980, with an economy burdened by unemployment 50 percent higher, per capita, than it is today?

What is it about Democratic presidents that leads so many to abandon their healthy skepticism of the abilities of mere humans and elevate their favored politicians to the pantheon of Mount Olympus?

It would seem to make more sense to retain our healthy skepticism, not only of their abilities but also of their intentions. Or is the Actonian truism about “power corrupts” only acceptable when used against Republican politicians?

— Jacob Shepherd, Marysville

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