The one who loves another has fulfilled the law- Romans 13:8
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism”- often attributed to Thomas Jefferson or Howard Zinn (most likely neither, as evidenced here)
During the tumultuous turmoil that was the domestic, foreign and all other policy under the Bush administration, there was a gargantuan amount of insults, criticisms and flat out baseless claims against the president and his underlings. (for a recap on the most egregious ones look into the Michael Moore film “Farenheit 9/11”) Some were hilarious. “Strategery.” And some were well founded and justified. Just a day, or presidential-term, in the life of a democratic-republic with protections on free speech.
But did anyone ever ask if he loves this country?
Throughout the past week or two, or more, regarding all of the rigamarole on the predilections of the infatuation status of President Obama, the one most ridiculous criticism on the subject is that it is disrespectful to justifiably question the president on the subject of his love for the United States. Or the most ridiculous criticism is to posit the notion that a man who would be president could feel anything but love for this country. Depends on who you ask. And while I will not ride the fence on this issue (or really any other), it does exist as yet another example of the two sides talking past each other. Two ships in the night, as it were.
The pro-love defenders of the president indignantly claim that, well, he IS the President of the United States. It is perfectly absurd that anyone, especially a washed up former mayor with the stars of political ambition in his eyes, should suggest that he feels anything BUT love for his country, and compassion for its citizens (and prospective citizens). They point to his record as proof.
The pro-ambivalence (a bit of a stretch, I will admit) critics indignantly look at the same man and view him with the same skepticism as the competent law-and-order former mayor does. There is not love but disdain for this country in the heart of our president. And they point to his record as proof.
He loves me? He loves me not??
Looking at the political realm in the United States leaves one pondering: how can so many people in power be so wrong so much of the time and yet remain in power? How can a congress with such low approval ratings keep getting elected? How can anyone support this president? How could anyone oppose him?
The repeated circumstances are the inevitable result of a lacking definitive terminology when discussions like the love triangle of the president, the people and the country appear at the forefront of debate. Verily, the abortion debate centers around one side fighting for the rights of women while the other focuses on the unborn. Same-sex marriage advocates invoke human rights while their opponents invoke a legal definition of marriage. Two sides advocating different ideas and when they meet in the middle, chaos ensues and the issues remain settled. In fact, people actually become more entrenched in their opinions the longer debate persists.
And so it is. We apparently have a president who deeply loves this nation while doing everything he can to undermine its foundational principles.
Personally, I do not see a love of the United States in Barack Obama. That is, a love of this country as it was founded and of its constitutional principles. I see a man who values social justice above all else and pursues a Marxist “from each, to each” agenda to level the playing field. Equality of outcome. Prejudice and discrimination exist as a subterraneous current driving our legal system and the myriad racial/sexual/socioeconomic-al/immigration-al injustices need to be paid for, literally, by the successful members of society. Government is the means to this end, but only insofar as it does not impede his goals. The Constitution is a valuable guide but antiquated, and needs to evolve through enlightened action. If congress won’t act, the president will, regardless of any legal authority.
He must not offend the misunderstood freedom fighters in the middle east with disparaging remarks identifying the religious source of their ambition for global dominion. He is fighting a battle to win hearts and minds amidst beheadings and immolation. And as of this writing, he is opposed to the leader of Israel speaking out against negotiations with Iran.
But, Barack Obama does love his vision of the United States. A country where those who have for so long taken advantage of the downtrodden masses have paid for these sins. The historical victims have received their reparations. Elite enlightened persuasion has led us all to understand, and therefore agree with, the vision of the United States as an egalitarian utopia. Our “enemies” have acquiesced to our requests for compromise due to the well-funded economic buildup of their nations. The middle east has found peace. Israel and/or a Palestinian state may or may not exist. Regardless, I see a president who loves this country as he sees it in his own heart and mind.
A love of country is a profoundly personal sentiment. While it is perfectly reasonable, with justification, to ask if our leader loves this nation, it is not a question that can be answered objectively with any satisfaction The defenders will say “of course he does”, the critics “no he does not.” And round and round we go.
Barack Obama, just like George W. Bush before him, became president for a reason. Obama stated his goal of fundamental transformation which still creates a substantial divide as to its meaning. How can one seek to fundamentally transform that which one loves? Perhaps fundamental transformation is his way of showing love.
America: “So…um…do you think he likes me?”