by Reid Fitzsimons
Recently Rudy Giuliani suggested Barak Obama doesn’t love America, and predictable outrage and fireworks ensued. So, was he right or does Barak Obama love America? We can answer that question with a parable of sorts. A sensitive young woman gives herself sexually to an older man. Once he has been satisfied she anxiously asks if he loves her. He hesitates for only a moment then replies, “Of course I love you, now what’s your name again?” To this guy love is part of his thoughts as much as contemplation over whether Pluto is a planet or a lesser body, but he does love what he can take from her. The concept of love of country is more than foreign to progressives like Obama, it is anathema.
Love of country evokes images and feelings that appeal to rednecks and malleable yokels- freedoms and remembrances of those who died defending them, jets flying overhead in formation before a sporting event, patriotic songs. Love of country involves a chill going up one’s spine when the flag passes by and a choked up sensation when hearing the words of the founders when played against the backdrop of certain music. Ronald Reagan, with a lowly bachelors degree from a small regional college, loved America.
Progressives, especially one as sophisticated and nuanced as our president, apportion love differently. While nobody can claim they don’t love their children and perhaps even their spouses as much as anyone, their love is otherwise reserved for higher level entities- elegant dining, fine wine, celebrities, expensive clothing, exotic vacations, power and, of course, themselves.
However, a reasonable question can be asked as to whether love of a country is prerequisite to serve as its president. What is more important, sentiments or competence? To the progressive, governance is largely a technical endeavor. All one needs do is gather the best and the brightest from the most elite universities, form a committee, devise a formula, and societies problems are solved; the trains will run on schedule. This is not a new concept by any means and was a foundational tenant of the progressive movement going back more than a century. The paradox is, of course, governance by brain trust utilizing ostensibly scientific theories to order and regulate human behavior fails to take into account human behavior.
Technocracy, as it is often called, cannot accept the possibility that the scientific models are imperfect. I mention in my brief bio on the “About Us” page that I was the medical director of a clinic in remote Kenya for 11 months in 2002-2003. AIDS was a huge and terrible disease but malaria was our bread and butter, so to speak. Of course I had never seen a single case of malaria up until then but I had the definitive book, the 1,500 plus page Manson’s Tropical Diseases, to guide me. My edition stated that neonates and infants up to 3-4 months of age couldn’t contract malaria because they were protected by maternal antibodies. It sounded both reasonable and scientific. Early in my tenure one of the clinic practitioners mentioned something about a 2-3 month old baby with malaria, to which I confidently replied that was not possible because the authoritative text said so. Of course the young baby had malaria as did countless others I was to encounter. This was a humbling lesson for me, as it should have been. In the elite policy making and scientific world, however, where no one troubles themselves by actually interacting with beautiful little dying African children, the book of the moment will always contain inviolable settled science, at least until the latest revised edition is published.
I would go quite a bit farther than Rudy Giuliani and postulate that Obama and his fellow progressive travelers don’t just fail to love America, they loathe it. In many ways this is understandable- they were incubated figuratively, if not literally in some cases, in post-war, post-modern salons. With wealth unimaginable to prior generations and not burdened by mundane needs of subsistence, they could spend all day theorizing of a utopian world. They learned that great injustices had been committed in the 200 plus years of America’s existence, and most likely thought this knowledge was unique to them. The problem was, and is, the lack of maturity, wisdom, and deeper knowledge required to develop the correct, broader perspective- a truly appalling absence of life experience. They are steeped in affluence but don’t comprehend that at some point the wealth they enjoy had to be created, that multitudes of people had to get their hands dirty. It’s as if our president and his kindred progressives read a book on how to fly an airplane, played Microsoft flight simulator for a while, and now truly believe they not only are capable of piloting a plane but telling others how to do so as well. Unfortunately they are smart enough to know a limited amount of book knowledge, if exploited properly, can make them appear almost omniscient.
Several days after Giuliani’s comment Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, was asked the obviously absurd question if he thought Obama is a Christian. He replied he didn’t know, and the media buzzer sounded as if he got the wrong answer on a game show. The poor guy had to contort himself to rectify this transgression- through a spokesman he informed the world he was not, in fact, doubting the President’s faith. I DO doubt his faith. Barak Obama is no more a Christian than I am: he’s an atheist. While he certainly positioned himself as a Christian (as a member of a nominally Christian United Church of Christ, led by Jeremiah Wright), that image was pretty much required to move up the political ladder. Similarly, he perceived it was necessary for him to be opposed to homosexual marriage leading up to the 2008 presidential election, so he pretended to be. In order for congress to pass his Affordable Care Act he perceived it was necessary to assure the ignoramuses known to him as the American people, “If you like you current plan you can keep it,” so he did.
There is nothing wrong, per se, with being an atheist: if someone doesn’t believe in God, stating so is more honorable than pretending otherwise. My complaint with atheists is that they make us agnostics look bad, what with the increasing demands that saying “Bless You” in response to a sneeze be an academically sanctionable offense and the like. There is an upside to our president being an atheist- it immunizes him against claims occasionally heard that he is really a Muslim. I am a non-believing agnostic but am inclined toward Judeo-Christian philosophy. There is no question in my mind that our president is also a non-believer but tends to be sympathetic to Islamic thought, which he seems to defend in all circumstances while having no hesitation to be scornful of Christianity. As he does in critiquing US history and tradition, he is quite facile picking and choosing talking points that align with his worldview in regards to religion and does not trouble himself with facts or truth, especially in perspective. It’s as if he’s acting in the manner of the stereotypical closed-minded redneck he deplores so greatly, but with nuance.
Whether pertaining to love of God or country, a progressive in the Barak Obama mold is about as likely to declare with sincerity that “Jesus Christ in Lord and Savior” as he is to shout “USA!! USA!!”at a NASCAR race, which is in fact very unlikely