It’s unlikely that anyone stood up during the Renaissance and declared: “We’re living in what will always be remembered as mankind’s golden age.” Nor that any soldier on the front lines of World War II bragged, at the time, about being part of “the greatest generation.”
Perhaps no one [none of us] grasps, in real time, the contribution of the age they [we] are living in. So we can be excused for not fully appreciating the significance of this time and place, or the ambitious agenda put forth by President Barack Obama in his address to a joint session of Congress. But the more his plan unfolds, and the more we understand it, the more we will realize its historic dimensions.
We are definitely experiencing a serious economic crisis, Obama admits. But in that crisis, he also sees incredible opportunity, provided we respond to hardship the way Americans always have. “History reminds us,” the president told Congress, “that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas.”