I thought it more than interesting that President Obama framed his oil speech in war-like terms: "On the one hand, it was a war: here was a "battle plan" that we needed to lift a "siege." Obamas Oil Speech: The Choir Vs. the Preacher - Tuned In - TIME.com " "This is an assault on our shores and we're gonna fight back with everything that we've got." Obama's Oil Spill "Battle" Metaphor Runs Into Problems - Political Hotsheet - CBS News What was most revealing was the use of the war image so characteristic of Progressives. German intellectuals had pioneered the idea that war was the source of moral values. American Progressives saw war as a way to reorganize America. 1.In the essay "The Moral Equivalent of War" by William James, James considered one of the classic problems of politics: how to sustain political unity and civic virtue in the absence of war or a credible threat. The standard solution for the problem of sustaining political unity and civic virtue has been either war or a credible external or internal threat, anticipating the use by political leaders of imagined internal or external threats to achieve and maintain their power and the political unity that would discourage opposition to them. 2. The use of the idea if not the reality of war may be seen currently in liberalisms use of the war on cancer, the war on drugs, the War on Poverty, and the exhortation to fight any problem as the moral equivalent of war. And, in President Obama's oil speech last night, we have the lastest incarnation of the the war metaphor.