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Professor Elman recently wrote an opinion essay on President Obama's speech on the Arab Spring, which appeared inthe Syracuse Post Standard, Sunday opinion pages:
Bush – This is an essay on President George W
One of the strengths of the Church is her global perspective. In that light, Cardinal Georges Cottier's recent essay on President Barack Obama ("Politics, morality and original sin," 30 Days, No. 5), made a valuable contribution to Catholic discussion of the new American president. Our faith connects us across borders. What happens in one nation may have an impact on many others. World opinion about America's leaders is not only appropriate; it should be welcomed.
The rest of the articles in this special issue focus on ideational processes that tend to produce strong tendencies towards continuity, further eroding the possibilities of a ‘change presidency’. Tony Smith's essay on President Woodrow Wilson's strategic role in biological racism into cultural superiority and evangelical zeal into a sense of national mission helps understand the continuing significance of social Darwinism in American life, the no longer palatable to the majority of Americans let alone world opinion. As Smith argues, through Woodrow Wilson's ‘democratizing ambitions, what formerly had been racial and religious beliefs became secular and modern convictions that gave to American foreign policy a self-confident and self-righteous identity capable of undertaking acts of progressive imperialism ….’ Smith's view is that these deep-seated convictions – that imperial creed () – blossomed after the Cold War's end in the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and of Barack Obama.