Ten years ago this April, my family was granted the honor of a lifetime.
Then-president George W. Bush was planning a press conference on the impact of his tax cuts on American families. My wife and I were planning to use our tax savings to buy our first home, and we were invited to the White House to be part of the event.
Growing up in Jewish suburban Chicago, the word “Republican” was less popular than the Green Bay packers or putting ketchup on a hot dog. Supporting the GOP was something you just didn’t do. But none of that mattered. All my friends and family greeted my exciting news with the understanding that their own opinions of President Bush or the GOP were irrelevant. It was about the office, the honor, and the promise of America to my grandparents who had fled Europe before Hitler’s ascendancy. They could never have imagined that their grandson would be invited to meet with the President of the United States.
The Office of the Presidency has a history—a significance so profound that it transcends its occupant during any snapshot in time.
So what on earth is happening? What about the unifying, celebratory tradition of passing the mantle?