After all the oratory at both political conventions, one line stands out. It was from Michelle Obama, talking about her late father, Fraser Robinson, and his insistence on paying his small portion of her college tuition bills on time. “You see, for my dad,” she said, “that’s what it meant to be a man.”
In one moving sentence, she opened a vista on a life of self-sacrifice. The narrative arc of her rendition of his life bent upward, and understandably so. He was a working-class father who raised two Princeton University graduates. But she could just as easily have invoked a sense of the country’s loss.
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