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DELRAY BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 23: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on October 23, 2012 in Delray Beach, Florida. Obama continues to campaign across the U.S. in the run-up to the November 6, presidential election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
President Obama is a big advocate of change, and his shot at reshaping the country is only the latest effort in modern liberalism’s long-running attempt to reinvent America by changing citizens’ relationship to their government.
Like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson, he is leading a fourth wave of liberalism, one that has expanded the reach and cost of government. Now, as voters gear up for November 6th, the fortunes of President Obama and the democrats are intertwined and uncertain.
Will his gamble on healthcare pay off? Is liberalism on its last legs, or about to be reborn? Has either party really figured out who Barack Obama really is?
Charles R. Kesler, author of “I Am Change: Barack Obama and the crisis of liberalism;” is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, and the editor of the Claremont Review of Books. He is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy