Monday, February 18, 2008

Really Proud of America At Last

. . .What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback and let me tell you something, For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I have seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues. It has made me proud.
Beg pardon, ma'am, but why is hunger for change and hunger to be "unified around some basic common issues" necessarily a reason for pride ? Should not the emotion of "pride" require more from us than vague, unspecified yearings for "change" and evocations of "hope?" Back in 1933 in Germany, a whole lot of people were "hungry for change" and "hungry to be unified around some basic common issues." I'm sure you'd agree that in that case, and in many others we could think of, simply being hungry for change and wanting desperately to be united around basic values is thin, even poisonous gruel upon which to feed pride.
Personally, I think the "hunger for change" and the desire to be "unified around some basic common issues" can be downright dangerous. Whether what you say you're proud of is good depends on what the "basic common issues" are, and what kind of change the hungry are hungering for. Your husband has the most liberal voting record in the whole United States Senate, and given some of the things that the ascendent liberal wing of your party stands for today -- such as withdrawal from Iraq at any price, looks to me like the kind of change your friends are hungry for falls into the foolhardy and dangerous column.
But more to the point, why is the present the first time in your adult lifetime that you've really been proud of your country ? Granted, you were five years old at the time Neil Armstrong walked on the moon (tell me what other place has done that !), but I find it more than passing strange that an American could not be proud as punch of her country every day, every hour of her life, simply because it's America, and her country. We don't need the "hunger for change" to be proud of our country. No, America is not perfect, by any means, but it has struggled longer and harder for justice and freedom for all of its people, and to bring justice and freedom to others, than any nation in the whole history of the world.
How can we not be proud of the nation that freed Kuwait and Afghanistan and liberated Baghdad ? How can we not be proud of a country that gives so many the right to be so horribly, tragically wrong about almost everything, and to shout it from the rooftops ad nauseum ? How can we not be proud of a nation that rescued Europe twice from bondage and whose soldiers and navies stand guard all over the world defending the planet's liberty and commerce. There are a universe of other reasons to be proud of our country, and not the least of the reasons to be proud of this country is the fact that Barack Obama, son of a Kenyan, can sit in the United States Senate.
So Mrs. Obama's a political novice, and she's managed to utter a stray paragraph at a rally just crying to be pounced on. No doubt her defenders are going to say exactly this, and that's fine, they have a right -- thanks to the work and blood of generations of Americans -- to think what they think, and so does Mrs. Obama. But for me, that's almost beside the point. I'm proud of America for all of the reasons listed, but I'm also proud of America, and have been since the day I was born -- because it's ours, it's our country. That's enough for me. Maybe Mrs. Obama gets that, and maybe not. Maybe the Democrats get it and maybe they don't. But I bet you your bottom dollar that John McCain does.
Hat tip: Drudge.


H said...

Great Post. I saw her comments a little while ago and just had to ignore them for now. I'm still getting over Berkeley. And this is the same woman who last week declared that "our souls are broken". She is so far out in left field that she's in my ignore zone. For now anyway.

El Jefe Maximo said...

I'd love to put her on ignore, but the odds are looking pretty good for her to be the next First Lady, so she's hard to ignore.

Candidly Caroline said...

Wow - she really said that?? I can't even imagine not being proud of this country, even in times of disagreement. I've always had an underlying pride in my country and many times have been particularly proud -- and, I've only been around 31 years. How sad that must be for her.

El Jefe Maximo said...

There is a link to video of this comment in the post.

Even allowing for the fact that she's a novice campaigner (and she is campaigning for her husband, addressing rallies and such, which is what makes her comments fair game) -- this remark just seems pretty out there.

What I find distrubing about it is the level of alienation the comment implies from the whole system -- from what, until now, has passed as mainstream political thought in this country. Granted, there are people who do feel alienated and marginalized: whether they should or not is another story.

Now nobody can be responsible for the thoughts or opinions of their spouse. However, this is another piece in a puzzle I'm not liking a bit -- Che Guevara flags on the walls of local campaign headquarters; the candidate defending his refusal to wear an American flag pin; the voting record in Congress; the decidely dovish views of foreign policy.

Mr. Obama talks a lot about unity. Sorry, but I'm not seeing how that happens. Surely Mr. Obama knows that there are a lot of us who are not post-nationalist, or post-patriotic ? Either he's hopelessly naive; or he's completely feeding the public a line of Happy Talk; or he's absolutely sure we can have his kind of unity over the objections of the rest of us. I don't like any of those possibilities, and I think that the more the country hears of him, the more a lot of other people won't like it either.

louielouie said...

EJM Ireading your last comment i am flip flopping. i can't make out whether you have a problem with ms. obama, sung il, or if you have a problem with the people of this country. it is after all the people of this country that have, imo, moved so far left. this guy is just a huckster that has come along and played a little pied piper type thingy. as for myself, i'm pissed at the people of this country.

Anonymous said...

Madame Obama's remark doesn't surprise me. Progressivism since the 19th century has been a form of rootlessness, and alienation from the current culture, and this state of mind is aggravated by class markers and education. The higher you go, the worse it gets, and the more it attaches itself to snobbery.

Read Orwell's essay "England Your England", and you'll find the perfect description of the leftist intelligentsia in the UK of the '30's and '40's. Orwell was remarkable in many ways, particularly in his objectivity and contempt for the snooty left of his day. No one knew them better; he speaks for us today.

I don't think Madame Obama is unique or particularly offensive in this respect, just typical of her class...with the possible addition of race identifiers.

Wait until she's First Lady. She'll make Hillary seem like Florence Nightingale.


H said...

I tend to agree with Rhod. I don't think that Mrs. Obama's position is particularly unique in liberal circles. Which, is why she said it in prepared remarks, twice, in the same day. Just like the flag pin. It's not only not objectionable, it's applauded.