A reader writes:
Your reader is really onto something. Obama, in embracing hope, has reinvigorated a sense of patriotism, or even nationalism, on the American left. Such sentiments have tended to be shunned these past few years, not because leftists aren't patriotic or proud of their country, but because they -- like you, I suspect -- aren't particularly proud of what their country represents at the moment. But Obama invites us to believe in the possibility of transcending this moment, in a way that no other candidate really does. I think all the candidates have their virtues: Edwards has real passion, and Clinton has a true dedication to her work and her beliefs. But I don't think any of the candidates have as deep a love of, or as fierce a belief in, America. And he alone makes the fresh renewal of that idea by a new generation seem possible, attainable.
He makes the weight of the Bush years seem less heavy, and lets us see beyond what these depressing times make seem like the limits of our own potential. And as a lefty, I can tell you that that's where the America we know -- the America that inspires in us not just pride, but fierce patriotism -- resides.