Consider these words from the President’s Inaugural Address:
Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism—these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.
These are heady aspirations, and perhaps the kind of message a nation in crisis and in transition needs to hear. It would appear that this is a moment that is paradoxically imbued with a sense of clarity and ambiguity. And so it is that we at The Immanent Frame have chosen to honor and interrogate this moment—generated by the event of Obama’s presidency (and its corollaries “the Obama generation” and “the Obama era”)—by launching a new series: “These things are old.”