Granting the importance of the topic, the difference in moral stature between presidential candidates has rarely been as enormous as it is today--not (or not only) because Obama's is so small but because McCain's is so large. There is no single English word for McCain the hero, the moral entity. But in Hebrew he would be called a tsaddik--a man of such nobility and moral substance that he approaches holiness. If this assertion sounds crazy, that only shows how little we have thought about the issue.
OK, we'll have to go away and think about it. Mr Gelernter concludes:
"Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart" (Psalm 24:3-4). Whether you like or dislike his politics, that is John McCain all over. If he wins this election, it will be a come-from-behind surprise. But in larger American terms, it will be no surprise at all.
I mean, Jesus. Really. Extraordinary.
UPDATE: Commenter JHB has a terrifying question. Terrifying, that is, if it were ever answered in the affirmative: "Now here's a challenge: do you think you could find someone who feels that way about Gordon Brown?"