Barack Obama has kicked off his “Patriotism Tour” with a speech that is designed to depict the candidate as a thoughtful man who has meditated long and hard upon the history of our country and the meaning of patriotism. In fact, it reveals him for what he is: a knee-jerk Marxist who has swallowed hook-line-and sinker the academic left’s reinvention of America and its contempt for what the rest of us would call patriotism. It also reveals an inane duplicity that I had hitherto thought impossible in anyone not named George Bush.
Senator Obama is well aware that the patriotism issue does not favor his side. His transparent lack of patriotism is made even more glaring by his wife’s flippant dismissal of her nation’s virtues—until, of course, the arrival of her husband on the national political scene—and by Wesley Clark’s ham-fisted dismissal of Senator McCain’s military service. Most Americans, including many who loathe John McCain almost as much as I do, do not like to hear attacks on the military record of men who have served their country in war and who have been tortured by their country’s enemies.
In something of a jam, then, Obama has gone on a tour whose title is less reminiscent of a military campaign than of Madonna’s “Blond Ambition” tour. He begins with the familiar leftist platitudes about the American Revolution. The tough New England yeomen who left their homes in 1775, according to this myth, were not fighting “on behalf of a particular tribe or lineage, but on behalf of a larger idea. The idea of liberty. The idea of God-given, inalienable rights. And with the first shot of that fateful day – a shot heard round the world – the American Revolution, and America’s experiment with democracy, began.” Etc. etc. They must have been reading “The Declaration of Independence”–or, rather, they must have been the true author’s of the screed that Jefferson signed some 15 months later.
Obama does well to ignore the real men who fought at Lexington, because they were on a mission to prevent the British authorities from seizing the weapons they had stockpiled in anticipation of the outbreak of the revolution they had been plotting. Even the gun nuts at the NRA would probably not like to defend a band of reactionary farmers who were prepared to fight to restore their traditional liberties. They might even have said their chartered liberties, though today we would invoke the constitution and not our states’ colonial charters.
Perhaps we should not blame the Senator too much for his ignorance of any American history that cannot be reduced to ideological slogans about equal rights. He is a victim of his education. Who was there, either at Columbia or at Harvard Law, who did not believe this booshwa? But his professors, at least, would not disguise the fact that they hated the real America represented by either Yankees or Southerners or that they rejected the whole notion of patriotism as Neanderthal. When Alisdair MacIntyre even raised the question in the title of his essay, “Is Patriotism a Virtue?,” he was defying the academic establishment.
Then what, for this “man of mixed race, without firm anchor in any particular community, without even a father’s steadying hand,” is patriotism, since it obviously cannot be the pre-rational love of blood and soil? The answer is that “it is this essential American idea – that we are not constrained by the accident of birth but can make of our lives what we will.” Among these accidents of birth, of course, are such trivial details as who our parents are and in what country we are born. From Obama’s point of view, his Kenyan father should have just as much right as he does to be elected President.
So then, does patriotism mean turning our backs on our families and our people to march boldly into a future determined by ideological abstractions? Apparently. “Patriotism is always more than just loyalty to a place on a map or a certain kind of people. Instead, it is also loyalty to America’s ideals – ideals for which anyone can sacrifice, or defend, or give their last full measure of devotion.” Note the “always.” A dumb WASP who loves the country his ancestors fought and died for cannot even be regarded as a lower kind of patriot. Rather, he is one of those retrograde social elements that Marx and Engels wanted to wipe off the map of Europe.
Like every other unreflective leftist in the world, Obama knows he is on the right side of history. This means, among other things, that he knows what conservatives and Christians believe better than they do. You must have all had the experience. Backed into a corner, the leftist always says, “a real conservative would support a ban on killing seals,” or “a real Christian would see Gay Marriage as an affirmation of the institution of marriage.” For this reason, Obama cannot cut any slack to us knuckle-dragging chauvinists and insists that all of us “can agree that no party or political philosophy has a monopoly on patriotism.” Just as mere Christians cannot have a monopoly on Christianity, and just as (so he has also declared) we could not make an abortion policy on the basis of one faith or of all faiths, so people who love their country have no monopoly on patriotism . Quite simply, Christians and conservatives do not have a perspective on anything, because there is only one legitimate point of view—the point of view of Barack Obama and the rest of the anti-American Marxist Left —that needs to be considered.
In the real United States of America, where patriotism was still a virtue and where people were expected to know their country’s history, Obama would never have made it to the Illinois legislature. In Reconstructed and occupied USA, it will be amazing if he is not made dictator for life.
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