On Friday, August 13, 2010, President Barack Obama hosted an official White House dinner to celebrate the beginning of the Islamic holy month, Ramadan Kareem. In the course of his remarks at the dinner, he said, “But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan…” The Lower Manhattan he was referring to, of course, was a site near Ground Zero for the murderous attack by Islamic radicals on September 11, 2001.
Apparently the President was concerned about being sensitive to those of the Muslim faith. And although he made a passing reference in his speech to those who lost loved ones on that tragic day, it appears that he was not as sensitive to their concerns as he was to those of Muslims in Manhattan, or the Saudis who are reportedly providing funds for the construction of the mosque. Whether out of honest regret, or for more crass political reasons in an election year, the next day the President tried to backtrack from his comments. Needless to say, such over-the-top comments were not well received by the vast majority of Americans.
His defenders have focused on “Freedom of Religion” as their defense, while those who strenuously oppose the construction of a mosque have called such construction a travesty. It is, of course, just that, a travesty. It is upside down logic to equate the construction of one mosque, or one church, or one synagogue in a particular location with abridgement of religion. As has been pointed out, there are more than 100 mosques in New York. It is not the addition of another mosque that mortifies New Yorkers and Americans across the nation, but the intent of these particular builders of a mosque, as this particular site, to intentionally rub salt in a very raw wound.
But really, what’s new about this latest genuflect to radical Islam? Shortly after taking office, this young President trotted off to the Middle East to apologize for the United States and to make nice. He apologized to erstwhile Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, and promised to hit the “reset” button on US Russian relations. He warmly greeted the Communist oppressor, Hugo Chavez, and smiled as he was addressed as Comrade.
Nothing has really changed. Liberals have always felt that if only the United States would be nice, if only we would be fair, if only we would appease and just talk, we could bring peace to the world. Repeatedly they have exercised incredible naivety and flawed reasoning. Why? They make such misjudgments because they do not understand the fallen state of man. They do not understand the flawed standing of human nature.
Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to the mass murderer Joseph Stalin as, “Good old Joe.” The Roosevelt and Truman State Departments were riddled with men like Assistant Secretary of State, Alger Hiss, who was an active agent of the Soviet Union. Just as Obama has trashed our friends like Israel, Truman’s State Department undermined our ally, Chiang Kai-shek, and instead made it possible for the mass murderer, Mao Tse-Tung, to take over China. And let’s not forget that it was Jimmy Carter that singlehandedly destabilized the Middle East by cutting the ground out from under the pro-Western, pro-American Iranian Shah of Iran thereby putting the Ayatollah Khomeini into power.
Why have American liberal leaders from Roosevelt to Obama been so naïve in dealing with those whose goal it is to destroy the United States? The answer can be summed up in two words—moral equivalence. None of these leaders, with the possible exception of Harry Truman, believed that the United States of America was any better or in any way morally superior to any other nation on the face of the earth. Their foreign policy was based on moral equivalence—the belief that the Soviet Union was morally equivalent to the United States of America, the belief that radical Islam is morally equivalent to Judaism and Christianity.
Obama sees the United States of America as an evil nation, a bad people, who have oppressed the poor and minorities. At the very best, he does not see America as an exceptional nation, but rather just another nation, no better or worse than any other nation. Liberals are and have always been embarrassed by American power and might. They smirk at the idea that America and Americans are somehow a kinder or more generous people than any other nation.
They reject American exceptionalism as jingoism and belittle those who express pride in America and our American heritage. They would be embarrassed to wear an American flag lapel pin or to fly a flag in their yard. They dismiss those who first came to America for religious freedom as being nothing more than empire builders. They go out of their way to disregard the Founders as men and women who lived in the fear and reverence of God. Or, as amazing as it may sound, they actually claim that their political linage goes all the way back to Thomas Jefferson, a man who personifies the antithesis of modern liberalism.
Because of their lack of understanding of human nature, they have never embraced the core belief of the Founders that men are mortals corrupted by having power over others. They see no genius in a Constitution that has at its central belief that government must be limited in order to preserve freedom for all. They see no threat in a powerful, centralized government.
So what’s new? Liberals of today are no different than the liberals of the 1920s and 1930s who sought to gain power over others by creating a leviathan government that has total control over the lives of its citizens. They seek power because they see themselves as wiser, nobler, kinder, and better than others. They have disdain for the “little” people and hatred for those who seek to preserve American values of freedom, limited government, and traditional Judeo-Christian moral values.
So why shouldn’t we expect Obama to bow to dictators and insult our allies? What’s new and different about such behavior? It may be more blatant, but such naivety is in keeping with the best traditions of modern American liberalism.
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