Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Modern Presidency

According to Bill Moyers [born 1934], this description by Colonel Andrew Bacevich [born 1947] best defines the modern American Presidency:
Beginning with the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, the occupant of the White House has become a combination of demigod, father figure and, inevitably, the betrayer of inflated hopes. Pope. Pop star. Scold. Scapegoat. Crisis manager. Commander in Chief. Agenda settler. Moral philosopher. Interpreter of the nation's charisma. Object of veneration. And the butt of jokes. All rolled into one.
It has been suggested that the American flag in Jasper Johns' work is an autobiographical reference, because a military hero after whom he was named, Sergeant William Jasper, raised the flag in a brave action during the Revolutionary War.