In The Moral Equivalent to War, William James asserts that mediocrity and inferiority are always with us, and that militaristic temper turns against their soulless existence, to demand sacrifice and honor. I think it is a very good thing that Obama lays claim to the office of the presidency during turbulent times. The economic chaos into which we are sliding headlong is not altogether a bad thing, morally speaking.
Certainly, this crisis gives him a field for his heroism, which marks him. It lends to his ascent a sense of urgency, and of purpose which would be missing during prosperous times. He is a Fourth Turning president as much by nature as by circumstance. Who can tell but that what is within Obama when he is tested by fire, will prove to be precisely what our nation stands most desperately in need of?