Un-Uniquely Oppressive. “The Point Of History Is To Learn

1359 WordsMar 23, 20176 Pages
Un-uniquely Oppressive “The point of history is to learn that our time is not uniquely oppressive.” These wise words rang through Purdue’s Fowler Hall on the night of March 1st*, spoken by famed historian, Rice University professor, and CNN contributor Douglas Brinkley as part of his Presidential Lecture alongside Purdue President Mitch Daniels. During a time where bipartisanship has fallen by the wayside and American politics are in upheaval, I went to Brinkley’s lecture hoping to hear bipartisan messages of hope and gain new insights into American political history and the future. Brinkley began his lecture alongside Daniels by letting the audience know about him as a person, who he was before his work and books gained him fame and…show more content…
Daniels’ next question was extremely pertinent to the events surrounding certain controversial and orange skinned politicians. “How important is character and virtue in a president? Can you be great without them?” I perked up at this question, this was what I had come here to gain more insight into; are politicians supposed to be paragons of morality or must they simply be able to execute the duties of political office? The reply did not dash my hopes to hear hopeful statements that night. Brinkley stated, “I used to tell students the best presidents don’t lie. Character is good, but you do things for the public that might be deceptive, but are for the greater good.” While I did not find this answer to be particularly revolutionary, it did have a nice message to it. I believe presidents can’t reveal every state secret to the public, simply for the public peace of mind. Brinley’s next step in his talk was to highlight how people from opposing political parties can be alike, despite ideological arguments, thus fulfilling the expectation that he would give hope in a time of political party conflict. Yet again that night he chose to discuss the two political giants Roosevelt and Reagan. As he highlighted the similarities between the two, audience members nodded and the general atmosphere was quite positive. Brinkley pointed

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