Looking for a father
I've been writing less here because I've been writing (and rewriting) a book we want to publish. Thank goodness about the rewriting, you think, and you're right.
While I was rewriting graphs on William Marshal, I heard the news about Barack Obama's running mate.
William Marshal was five years old when his father sent him as a hostage to King Stephen. He father broke his troth, and William learned that his father didn't care if he was killed. His father told Stephen to kill his son if he liked.
William Marshal grew up to be one of England's greatest knights. He is the only knight I know who unseated Richard the Lionheart. He told John to his face that he would not fight for him again. Unlike his father, Marshal always kept his word. And unlike his father, Marshal adored his sons, and fought fiercely to protect them. He also adored his wife, an Irish princess.
Marshal is the first knight named in Magna Carta. After King John had repudiated Magna Carta, gone to war and died, Marshal could have become king. Instead he became Regent for John's young son, Henry III. And, as he had promised, and to our great benefit, William Marshal had Magna Carta reissued.
US presidential candidate Barack Obama was also abandoned by his father. Despite never knowing his father, he has adopted many of his father's socialist economic creeds, which have proved completely counterproductive in lifting Africans out of poverty. Now, if the news is correct, he has asked US Senator Joe Biden of Delaware to stand as his Vice-President.
Joe Biden is described as a decent man with foreign policy expertise who has been serving in the US Senate since he was 29. Seventeen years older than Obama, Senator Biden looks like a father figure.
Is this what links Obama to Marxist teachers, an odd preacher, an unrepentant US capitol bomber with a trust fund, non-reformist Chicago politicians and now Joe Biden? That they are all old enough to be his father? What else connects these disparate individuals? Is Obama simply on a long and extensive search for guidance and protection from older men because, charming as he appears to be, he doesn't feel grown up?
I guess it's a mawkish question, but knowing myself, I know that my relationship with my father is important, and says something about me.
Marshal fought battles, negotiated peace, managed his holdings, travelled to Jerusalem, stood up to King John, protected his family and defended Magna Carta. He is not a man looking for a father, but a man that children and adults can rely on.
How did he transcend his father's abandonment? That's worth pondering.