Well, you can wrap 2004 up. But you can’t take it with you. Instead, it’s going where all the years go when they cease to be this year, the dusty heap called history. I wonder what history will make of it.
Winston Churchill once said he knew what history would say because he intended to write it. Regrettably, I have less authority and fewer volumes at my disposal. But I do have David Warren’s recent observation in Western Standard that “the people in the past didn’t think of themselves as living there. Like us, they thought they were living in the present.” It reminds me that if we attempt to comprehend our own times as the final destination of history’s long voyage, not part of it, we are likely to step blithely from the coach and be hurled at speed into a tree.
So, through a glass darkly, I’m trying to see 2004 in light of the chapter titles in the perhaps too many history books I have read, especially the long surveys. Things like “The Development of Responsible Government” or “Edward III and the Executive,” but not “Paul Martin: Man of Destiny, a Bit”. The Canadian Press and Broadcast News annual survey just voted Mr. Martin newsmaker of the year for the second time running. Oh please. It should be someone who had a surprisingly large impact on our public life (which, parenthetically, involves slightly more than just government policy) especially in a surprising direction. Continue Reading →
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