The Need for Historical Primacy

It is with great humility and with great pride that we tonight will make history for our country and progress for the American people. — Nancy Pelosi1

This president seems particularly fixated on doing something for the sake of historical magnanimity. His election was historical, healthcare reform is historical, cap and trade is historical, we’re at a cross roads in history, etc. The list is long and arduous–historical moments are what this government is all about.

And we may very well be approaching some of the most important events of our era, but our identification of them as such should seem dubious. Who are we to say what will be considered important details in one hundred years time. Certainly President Obama’s election would be one moment, but the passage of a flawed set of rules and regulations that do not approach the change they were believing in?

Perhaps. For good or ill, I don’t know.

I’m just a little unnerved by this unhealthy need to create these moments for the books; it is incredibly egotistical and narcissistic of the lot of them.

Should a man seek history’s pen or should history’s pen seek him? Depends on who is in charge when said pen strokes paper, though I suspect telling everyone you’re doing something historic does not equal historicity.

  1. Pelosi, Nancy. Making History, Making Progress, and Restoring the American Dream. The Gavel Blog. Accessed 4/15/2010.