Governor Giuliani recently expressed his belief that President Obama does not love America. Some Conservatives have quietly applauded his courage for stating what many of them have been thinking. Those of more left leaning politics have defended President Obama and naturally engaged in the standard character assassination that awaits any who presume to disagree with them. To this end, Giuliani has provided them with a lot of ammunition. The ensuing discussion has naturally developed into a party line skirmish of name calling and vilifying. I wonder though, if we step back from the fray momentarily, if there might actually be a discussion here that would add to the national debate in a positive way.
President Obama was raised differently than many Americans and yet it is an experience that he shares with numerous others. I can’t imagine what it was like to be raised in Hawaii as the black son of a white mother and an absent father. There must have been some difficult times. We know he stumbled out of a van filled with marijuana smoke. Perhaps his involvement with marijuana was indicative of some youthful struggles. Nevertheless, given his beginnings, he has gone on to achieve truly remarkable success. And in this difference, lies the beginnings of a more productive discussion.
What are the questions then that derive from Gov. Giuliani’s comments? I think there are two. As a result of the way President Obama was raised, does he view the US differently, i.e., not love the country the same way that main stream middle Americans do; and if so does it matter? I think it is blatantly obvious that he and I view this country differently, but then I was raised white, western, self-reliant and the son of pioneers. I love this country. Given our different experiences as citizens of the United States, I personally believe that President Obama perceives this country as having a lot more warts and imperfections than I do. As a result, no, I don’t think he has the same love for it.
I’m not sure that is all bad.
There seems to be a lot of people in this country that share President Obama’s view of this country. Evidently there are enough to elect him, not once but twice. So, yes, I disagree with President Obama and by association a great many of my fellow citizens. But when did we start hating and demonizing people just because we disagree. Maybe we, the citizens of this wonderful nation, should be using this discussion of love and differing views of American to expand each others understanding instead of name calling and vilifying.