“Patriot: a person who loves and loyally or zealously supports his own country.”
— “Webster’s Dictionary”
America’s mayor, Rudy Giuliani, blew up some skirts, both conservative and liberal ones, at a “private” gathering last week when he questioned whether President Barack Obama really loves his country.
Let me give you, up front, my take on this political tempest in a teapot:
Barack Obama most certainly does love his country. No one should question that.
What honorably can be asked, though, is does he love our country?
And by “our” I mean the country a very large majority of Americans love and loyally support; the country many hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors and Marines have sacrificed life and limb to preserve from the very founding to this very day; the country that has done more than any other in history to lift up other nations reeling from natural and man-made disaster, the desperately poor at home and abroad, even our own defeated enemies.
Remember, if you will, that on being afforded the greatest honor the American electorate has to bestow, the office of president of the United States, Barack Obama promised to fundamentally “transform” America, presumably into something more to his liking, more compatible with his vision of what America could and should be.
The implication was that there was much he didn’t like about the America he was elected to serve and lead.
He made this clear during the “Apology Tour” overseas, shortly after his election.
Has he succeeded or failed in this self-assigned mission, midway through a second term in office?
My sense is that, thankfully, he has not succeeded.
My sense, also, is that under his leadership America’s standing in the world has been diminished, and that today the American people are more divided than ever.
But perhaps this is beside the point.
How many recall that when serving as the junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama called his commander-in-chief, George W. Bush, “unpatriotic” for adding “$4 trillion” to the public debt during his two terms in office? (Bush actually added nearly $5 trillion; Obama, when he leaves office, will have added somewhere south of $10 trillion.)
Does anyone remember political party party bigwigs, TV network anchors, newspaper editors, column writers, etc., having attacks of the vapors over Obama, a serving U.S. senator, questioning the patriotism of a serving president of the United States?
Does anyone fail to see the utter hypocrisy in raising such a fuss with one time New York City Mayor Giuliani?
I didn’t think so.
R.L. Schreadley is a former Post and Courier executive editor.