Fuzzy feelings and a confused grasp of the human condition.
(Page 2 of 2)
NOWHERE WAS THE PREVARICATION about American virtue in confronting evil more evident than in Obama’s brief foray overseas last summer to try to fortify his portfolio of foreign policy expertise. In front of one of the largest crowds ever assembled in Berlin for a political event—at least since the fall of the Third Reich—Obama spoke about the city as a place where “a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.”
This “narrative” of the end of the Berlin Wall is a bit like describing Shakespeare’s Macbeth and forgetting the murder of Banquo. The wall didn’t come down because “a continent came together,” but because an American president roundly described the empire that had erected it as “evil” and confronted it forcefully with a buildup of military power until it collapsed.
In this he was aided by a Soviet leader who though he believed devoutly in the validity of Communism lacked the ruthless backbone of a Stalin or a Khrushchev that might have enabled him to preserve it for a few more years. There was never a kumbaya moment of “a world that stands as one” in the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was American will— “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”—and American power that caused it to collapse.
But the Berlin speech revealed perhaps one of the most disturbing facets of Obama’s narrative: his slight but unmistakable disconnection from identifying wholly with America. Very early on in the speech he said that he didn’t “look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city.”
He’d come to Germany, he said, not “as a candidate for president, but as a citizen—a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow-citizen of the world.” Well, we are all “citizens of the world,” but when we went to the polls last November, we went as citizens of the U.S. in order to elect a president of the U.S. During the presidential campaign, some observers criticized Obama’s patriotism because he almost never wore a flag pin, sometimes didn’t put his hand on his heart for the playing of the national anthem, and showed a distinct elitism (his infamous “clinging to guns and religion” remark). Senator McCain may well have been accurate—and was surely being generous— when he affirmed in public that Obama was indeed patriotic. But what is the “narrative” of that patriotism? Is there anything basically and fundamentally American with which Obama wants to identify, and of which he is really proud?
I think many Americans would like to know. Then they might feel a lot more comfortable with his “narrative.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?