The Corner

Joshua — and the Holy Land

The theme of Obama’s sermon today is not new. Early last spring, shortly after he had declared, as you recall the question arose as to whether or not he was “really black,” — meaning, “was he a legitimate potential black leader?”

The old guard of the black civil rights movement — Sharpton, Jesse, and all the other angry, embittered, largely rejected leaders were still sneering at the upstart pretentions of this half-white, not-decended-from-slaves, exceptionally well-educated guy who was not under their thumb. But a particular black minister in Arkansas (I think), gave a very compelling sermon to the effect that maybe Obama represented the “Joshua generation.” His point was that, for all his many efforts, and the fact that he truly walked with God, Moses and the generation of Jews who left Egypt after having been slaves were made to wander in the desert, and were never allowed to enter the land of Israel to be free men in their own land. (Remember — throughout slavery, and, 100 years later during the heydey of the Civil Rights movement, black Americans regarded themselves as a latter day version of the Israelites in Egypt.) For that honor, God picked the leader of a new generation, untainted by slavery: Joshua.

The Joshua analogy was, and remains a brilliant metaphor. And surely it contains real truth about the nature of appropriate leadership, and what experience fits a leader for a new age– whether or not Obama gets the nomination or wins the election. So you can see why he would choose to cite that text any time he can.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More