Obama the “Patriot”
July 2, 2008
“So should we vote for Obama?” Having devoted some thousands of words to the unveiling of John McCain low character and sordid record, online and in the current issue of Chronicles, I am asked this question with some regularity. Of course not, I reply; being anti-cancer does not make one pro-HIV. McCain is a neurotic scumbag; his opponent is a destructor.
Only this country’s cultural pathology may account for the cult-like success of a nobody who came from nowhere, whose personal loyalties and cultural preferences are eccentric at best, and who preaches “change” as the way to turn intolerable being into perpetual becoming. Obama’s speech on patriotism at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, last Monday (June 30) illustrates the problem.
“A simple band of colonists” that took up arms “against the tyranny of an Empire” in 1775, according to Obama, “did so not on behalf of a particular tribe or lineage, but on behalf of a larger idea, the idea of liberty . . . Those men of Lexington and Concord were among our first patriots.”
This is not true. The revolutionaries—always a minority among the colonists—were motivated by the desire to defend their own interests and those of their families, friends and neighbors (“tribe or lineage”), and not by the urge to uphold any “larger idea.” Even the leaders of the American Revolution—many of them radicals by their time’s standards—did not set out to remake the political order, but to mend a flawed system and improve upon it.
Obama’s falsification of history has the clear purpose of back-dating the credal concept of “patriotism” in the very birth of the nation. It was essential to his subsequent “definition of patriotism that, however rough and imperfect, captures the best of America’s common spirit.” His definition rests squarely on “sacrifice” and “call to service.” For the uninitiated, it means the “haves”—mainly European-Americans—willingly enduring higher taxes to pay for yet more government programs supposedly helping the have-nots—overwhelmingly, of course, the people with whom Obama identifies, to whose grudges he panders, and whose obsessions he shared for 20 years of attendance at Dr. White’s (“God damn America”) so-called church.
In Obama’s scheme of things his wife, too, can be classified as eminently patriotic, now that for the first time in her life she can be proud of America thanks to the success of his political career. The “bitter” blue-collar whites, by contrast, cannot be patriotic for as long as they cling to guns, religion, and bigotry, all of which supposedly explains their antipathy to him.
His hypocrisy will not help him with this constituency, however. America “is the greatest country on Earth,” Obama declared in Independence in support of his red-white-and-blue credentials; but he must have reached that conclusion fairly recently. “I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great,” he announced in a speech last fall. In other words, the country is yet to become “great” (Obama Oct. ’07) but it is nevertheless “the greatest on Earth” (Obama, June ’08).
A few touchy-feely snippets of autobiographical faction came next, with Obama claiming to remember his mother “reading me the first lines of the Declaration of Independence, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’…” The would-be President should be asked whatever happened to the actual first lines, “When in the course of human events,” etc.? He will not be asked, though; it would be… so insensitive.
Towards the end of his speech, Obama reasserted his propositional creed:
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. I believe it is this loyalty that allows a country teeming with different races and ethnicities, religions and customs, to come together as one.
“Instead,” indeed. You may love America (“the place on the map”) with all your heart, and you may care for your fellow Americans (“a certain kind of people”) before all others. According to Obama that does not make you patriotic, however, unless you also believe that “anyone” can and therefore at least in principle should become an American, on the grounds of his or her loyalty to the ideal of a multicultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, tolerant, all-inclusive, diverse, anti-discriminationist, redistributionist America.
“That is the community we strive to build,” Obama concluded, “one in which we see ourselves as part of a larger story, our own fates wrapped up in the fates of those who share allegiance to America’s happy and singular creed.”
The Obama phenomenon reflects the hysterical temperament of a huge segment of the American public, temperament prone to adolescent over-excitability and willful self-deception bordering on self-hate. This mindset is ostensibly messianic, but the real Obama is only a step away from Gore Vidal’s John Cave, preaching self-annihilation as a way of redeeming a fallen humanity and liberating it from all struggle and disquietude.
If John McCain wins next November, we are likely to end up embroiled in at least one more costly and unnecessary war abroad and there will be a blanket amnesty of up to thirty million illegals at home. If it’s Barack Hussein Obama, we’ll have a massive, revolutionary shift away from the real, historical America—the country that all true patriots love and cherish—into a mutant hybrid unfit for a cultivated person to live in.
May God help us all.
Dr. Srdja Trifkovic is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com
Dr. Trifkovic is Foreign Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, published by The Rockford Institute, and Director of the Institute’s Center for International Affairs. He has a BA (Hon) in international relations from the University of Sussex (UK), a BA in political science from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and a PhD in history from the University of Southampton (UK).