“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” (Politico, 18feb15)
Mayor Giuliani’s recent remarks about President Obama’s character and values has caused a national kerfuffle on the Sunday talk shows that to me seems more than a bit silly. The Mayor said that he didn’t believe Obama loved America in the way most Americans do because of his upbringing and the society in which he traveled. He was brought up by parents and grandparents who were socialists and communists, and who evinced little love for our country. And as an adult Obama was constantly exposed to and worked with people of similar sentiments (“God damn America!”, Rev Wright). So his honor pulled that together as a picture that described the man in the attempt to explain away his unfortunate pronouncements and disastrous policies.
The lamestream, of course, went ballistic and even pulled in some mainstream Republicans to assure everyone that they never ever talk about personalities, but only the person’s policies. Not only that, but it now appears that the politically correct way to deport oneself when discussing other people is to limit yourself to what they did or were supposed to have done. To delve into what possibly made them do it has become a no-no.
Well, that’s not the way it was, and truth be told, is not even now. But you have to be careful when you start trying to dig under a politician’s policies to discover what made him do it then, what he is doing now, and importantly, what he might do in the future with issues yet to be resolved. Such studies, of course, have been the sum and stuff of analyzing the world's leaders and prominent people since age immemorial. Humans are by their nature critters who seek to understand and organize their environment by constantly attributing cause – ‘why did he do it?’, ‘why might he do that next?’. Nowhere is that endeavor more prevalent than in politics, and to hear politicians seriously deny that they ever abstract or talk about someone’s underlying personal traits confirms that when a politician’s mouth is open, he’s most likely lying.
So today, to point out that Obama’s murky past included heavy doses of anti-Americanism in his younger years is held by the Left as being out-of-bounds, prejudicial, and racist. Today we should only judge him by his public policies, period. Of course, that was not the case in the treatment of Bush2, Clinton, and other American leaders. Tomes have been written over the centuries dissecting the personal lives, character, foibles, and values of prominent people to understand and explain their behavior. Today the CIA and other security services develop and maintain extensive personality profiles on just about everyone in the public eye so that they can explain why they are doing what they do, and can predict what they may do in the future. It would be utter foolishness not to devise such personality models of important people. So why can we not explain to others the conclusions we have drawn about what in our opinion makes someone tick?
[26feb15 update] Listening to comments by Ron Fournier of the National Journal on Fox this afternoon piqued an inquiry of our readership. Fournier’s dissertation on Obama’s latest charitably labeled missteps jibed with much of what is reported these days. Many of these missteps have been purposive policies and actions which the overwhelming fraction of Americans would agree have hurt our country. But Fournier, like every other reporter and commentator today, since Giuliani’s famous statement, has hastened to add the obligatory political correctness that he wasn’t calling Obama unpatriotic. No, no, no.
Well, I have not been accused of being politically correct, nor do I want to stand so accused in the future. So I would ask Fournier, and more importantly the more conservative commentators on Fox (e.g. Krauthammer, Riley, Hayes, …), to present evidence that Obama is in fact a patriotic American. Make two columns on a sheet of paper and title them ‘Unpatriotic Acts’ and ‘Patriotic Acts’. The column of Unpatriotic Acts has been overfilled for some time now. The question is – what would these politically correct commentators put in the other column to give evidence of Obama’s patriotism and give balance to the lists?