FARMINGTON, Maine — I’m minding my own business in a bookstore near the University of Maine’s campus here when I hear two women talking.
One of them is trashing Donald Trump as the other sagely nods. Then they start gushing about President Barack Obama’s “greatness” and what “a fine president” he was.
Tempted almost beyond endurance to say something, I buried my head in the Brad Thor thriller that I had been thumbing through. Nothing I would have said could have changed their minds. Nothing. We live in two different universes.
While driving back, a number of snappy one-liners came to mind. But none would have done any good. Progressivism and its cousin, atheism, often are practiced with unacknowledged religious fervor. One-liners cannot penetrate devotees’ armor any more than opposite sentiments should undermine the faith of a devout Christian, Jew or Muslim.
I thought later about the women’s admiration of Mr. Obama while reading about Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl’s light, dishonorable discharge without incarceration for leaving his post in 2009 and causing severe injuries and possibly related deaths of several fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Sgt. Bergdahl’s return was procured by Mr. Obama in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban commanders who have gone back to plotting the destruction of the United States and our allies.
Here’s a snapshot, courtesy of columnist Don Feder, into Bowe Bergdahl’s view of the nation that sacrificed so much to secure his return:
“In an e-mail to his parents before he took French leave in 2009, Bergdahl said he was ‘ashamed to be an American’ (twice), that ‘the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,’ that ‘the US Army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at … It is the army of liars, backstabbers and bullies, and ‘the horror that is America is disgusting.’”
It’s a good bet that Bergdahl would take a knee at an NFL game during the national anthem if he were a player.
Keep in mind that Mr. Obama honored Bergdahl’s parents at the White House Rose Garden. National Security Advisor Susan Rice hailed the deserter as having served “with honor and distinction.”
At the sentencing, the court heard from Shannon Allen, wife of National Guard Master Sgt. Mark Allen, who was shot in the head while searching for Bergdahl. Sgt. Allen, who is unable to speak, will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, unable to lift his arms to hug his 9-year-old daughter.
“He’s not able to reach out for her or talk to her,” Mrs. Allen said. “He’s never had the chance to really play with her or help coach her sports or ask about her day. He lost me as a wife, essentially, because instead of being his wife I am his caregiver. I mean, we can’t even hold hands anymore.”
In a 2014 Facebook post next to a photo of wheelchair-bound Allen in his dress blues, alongside their young daughter, she wrote, “Meet my husband, injuries directly brought to you by the actions of this traitor.
“He can’t give an account of what went down, because he can no longer speak. Now, which guy is a ‘hero’ again?!?”
Mr. Obama did a lot of other un-American things during his eight-year reign, including his bowing to foreign rulers, his infamous apology tour of the Middle East, and his cash payment of $1.7 billion to Iran. But, the Bergdahl deal is right up there.
Instead of being proud of America, Mr. Obama’s Bergdahl progressives believe that the land of the free and home of the brave needs to be taken down a peg. How dare we enjoy an “exceptional” amount of success when the rest of the world lags behind? So what if our country began with the unique view that our rights come from the God of the Bible, not government, and that this led to unprecedented liberty and prosperity?
The proffered solution of the Bergdahl progressives to any and all inequality is to make America more like the rest of the world, not less.
It means blurring the line between honor and dishonor. And confusing traitors with victims or heroes.
And it means elevating the most un-American president in history to a higher place than the 43 presidents before him.
• Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.