President Obama regularly expresses his contempt for America. The latest example was his comment at a business forum in Hawaii where he complained that "we've been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades." In particular, he meant Americans supposedly have been lax in pursuing foreign investment because "we aren't out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America." This degrades the country he leads.
The statement is patently false. During the past several decades, foreign investment has nearly tripled. Washington has signed multiple free-trade pacts, seeking to expand export markets and attract investment capital. Economic globalism is eroding our industrial base and U.S. wages; it has been a bonanza for foreign investors. Americans have not been passive. Yet Mr. Obama loves to bash America.
This is the latest in a long list of cheap insults. At a San Francisco fundraiser in October, Mr. Obama said, "We have lost our ambition, our imagination and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge." Earlier that month, he complained, "we used to have the best stuff. Think about it: The world used to say 'Let's travel to America. Let's see the Golden Gate Bridge. Let's see the Hoover Dam. Let's see the amazing things that America built.' " In September, he claimed America "had gotten a little soft and, you know, we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track."
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama denounced "bitter" middle- and working-class voters who "cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them" and pull the lever for Republicans. In other words, the heartland is rife with parochial, xenophobic, racist and primitive citizens who still believe in outdated conservative notions such as patriotism, God, the Second Amendment and stopping the flood of illegal immigrants.
Mr. Obama is a typical liberal. He believes America is fundamentally flawed, wicked and in irreversible decline. Like most on the radical left, he has been profoundly disappointed by America, especially over the past several decades. The Soviet Union - the vanguard of socialist revolution - was tossed onto the ash heap of history. The great enemy, capitalism, emerged triumphant.
The truth is that Americans have not lost their work ethic, imagination or competitive edge. In fact, no country has achieved what America has in the past 30 years. We won the Cold War, liberating captive nations and expanding freedom to several hundred million people. We created the Internet and many of the world's top high-tech companies, such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook. We have spearheaded leading innovations in medicine, science and technology. We have become the most productive, prosperous and richest country in history - opportunities exist here that are impossible elsewhere. In short, America has shown repeatedly that it is an exceptional nation. This is what Mr. Obama despises.
Mr. Obama's presidency represents the culmination of the 1960s revolutionary left. At their core, '60s radicals preached hatred for America. In their eyes, the United States was an evil, imperialist power based on economic exploitation, racial oppression and mindless militarism. Mr. Obama's intellectual mentor, Saul Alinsky, argued that America could only be saved by radical transformation. Christianity, the free market, constitutional limited government, the belief in American exceptionalism all had to be uprooted to pave the way for the coming socialist utopia. In tandem, Mr. Obama's comments are part of a larger ideological pattern: He spent 20 years in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church, had ties to the Marxist terrorist Bill Ayers and continues to express sympathy for anarcho-socialist movements such as Occupy Wall Street.
No other American president - not even Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton - has vilified and denigrated his country while in office like Mr. Obama. It is not just that he routinely demonizes segments of his own countrymen - denouncing "fat-cat" bankers, millionaires, billionaires and corporate-jet owners. He has publicly attacked the Supreme Court for its decision on campaign-finance legislation. He has urged Hispanic supporters to "punish our enemies." He has called Fox News and other media critics "illegitimate." Since the 2010 midterm elections, he even has questioned the efficacy of our constitutional system, complaining about our "broken politics." He derides "this big, messy, tough democracy," openly admitting his temptation to bypass Congress and go it "alone." This is more than hyperpartisanship. It expresses a deep-seated revulsion for American traditions and American democracy.
Mr. Obama repeatedly has bowed to foreign leaders - Japan's emperor, China's strongman president and the Saudi king. He has apologized to the Europeans and the Muslim world for our alleged "arrogance" and imperial meddling in foreign affairs. This is despite America's heroic role in defeating Nazi Germany and protecting Europe from Soviet communism. The United States also has liberated more than 50 million Muslims from brutal occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Our president constantly talks down his own country while the press corps yawns at his flagrant display of anti-Americanism. In another era, Mr. Obama would have been run out of town. Today, he is applauded by leftist pundits for his cosmopolitan, multicultural sophistication. This kind of "sophistication" is mocked in the corridors of power in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran. Only our rivals and enemies benefit when the American leader conveys that the world's superpower is losing its self-confidence and self-respect.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.
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