August 31, 2002

Reading from the past on 9/11…

Andrei Cherny suggests that, in addition to reading from revered historic documents on the 9/11 anniversary, politicians find their own words to mark the day and rally the nation. Why can’t New York Gov. George Pataki (who will recite Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address), or New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey (who will read from the Declaration of Independence), or New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who will recount Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms) deliver a message for ages–one that will stand with the best of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt? I think one answer to that question is this: We the people have low expectations of our leaders partially created by a media environment that treats leaders as schemers rather than public servants with honorable motives.

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