It may be that provided no Biblical disasters happen that Obama will be remembered kindly by history as the man who exposed America's weaknesses while essentially dodging the bullet. Perhaps the 8 years will be just bad enough to serve as an innoculation; to make America realize the folly of its ways without enduring the harsh vae victis that typically accompanies such lessons.Tolkien's answer to that question is not obvious, though it is clear. I mean by that remark that it is clear what Tolkien thought, but in the story no mechanism is given nor more than barely suggested. The answer is obscure, not obvious, in the tale. You have to read the Silmarillion, and particularly the Ainulindalë, to understand what Tolkien thought was at work. It is a metaphysical picture most aligned, oddly enough, with Hinduism. It is like the message of the Bhagavad Gita except that the ultimate being is much more active in Tolkien's view. The discord of evil wills is answered by the divine, woven back into the thread of the whole so that it only deepens the beauty of creation.
Bad things occasionally have a way of turning into something positive, provided one survives them long enough to see the benefits. The reason for this deserves some thought. Most readers are familiar with the accidentally heroic role played by Gollum in the plotline Lord of the Rings. It was not Frodo who destroyed the Ring, but Gollum who through his own incompetence tripped over the edge of the abyss and fulfilled the Quest. .Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. ... Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.And so it did. But why does accidental heroism exist?
Tolkien was extremely well-read -- I continue to discover how well-read, as it is rare that I read an ancient or Medieval primary source without realizing that he read it first. He read the Pre-Socratics, I am sure, and preferred among them Heraclitus: for Heraclitus said, in an idea that Christians would later adapt, that everything comes to be in accordance with Logos. Tolkien left us a sign of this in the way he describes the creative element of the divine being in his stories as "the Secret Fire" or "the Flame Imperishable." Heraclitus also held that fire, of the elements, was the true arche.
That is not the answer Wretchard gives. He credits another divine being, Randomius Factoria, the Lady of Fate. Yet he seems to credit her in her bright aspect: Agatha Tyche, also known as Eutykhia, the goddess of good luck. I love that goddess myself, but she like we is a part of creation. Her powers are granted, like ours, even if they are greater than our own.