EDMOND — When Benjamin Franklin was dispatched to France as ambassador of the United States in 1776, he won the hearts of the French through his authenticity. Rather than take on an affected and phony continental style, Franklin eschewed the powdered wig of the European gentleman and donned the fur cap of an American frontiersman. Original genius and polymath, Franklin understood that the French would see through any false pretension but respect an authenticity that sprang from an unpretentious and naive love of country.
What a contrast there is between Franklin and Barack Obama. Obama is a Harvard lawyer who is a mile wide and an inch deep. He is only the latest in a long line of shallow elites that consider it stylish and intellectual to despise their own culture and heritage.
Nothing exemplifies Obama’s antipathy for American culture better than his statement that Americans “cling to” religion and guns out of frustration or bitterness. We only can suppose that Obama regards religion or firearms as aberrations that need to be eradicated.
Of course, both guns and religion are essential aspects of American culture. The United States was founded by people seeking religious freedom. Does the word “Pilgrim” ring a bell with anyone? Our freedom and the right to self-government were won by farmers with guns.
The American Revolution started when the British marched to Concord with the intention of confiscating colonial arms. Both the right to “keep and bear arms,” and the right to “free exercise” of religion are enshrined in the Bill of Rights. We have come a long way when the presidential nominee of a major political party regards the exercise of fundamental rights as a mental aberration.
When Obama refers to “my Muslim faith,” the verbal gaffe resonates as a Freudian slip because of Obama’s thinly veiled hatred for this country’s unique culture and institutions. Obama sat for 20 years in a church where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr preached “goddamn America.” He only resigned from the congregation when it became politically expedient to do so. When earlier this year, Michelle Obama said “for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,” can we conclude that her husband disagrees? Is it not remarkable that Michelle Obama can be so small-minded as to find nothing in the history of the United States that merits her admiration but the personal success of her husband?
What is Barack Obama for? His campaign motto is “change.” But even a 6-year-old child understands that “change” can be either good or bad. Lacking specifics, the invocation of “change” as policy is completely empty. As we witness Obama’s minions mindlessly endorse the meaningless maxim of “change,” it only can call to mind the barnyard animals in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” chanting “four legs good, two legs bad!”
The choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate has been devastating for the Obama campaign precisely because she is everything Obama is not. Palin is not ashamed of her culture or country. She is not embarrassed by being an American, but naively embraces her birthright. Unassisted by affirmative action, Palin has risen to national prominence on the basis of her character, intelligence and natural gifts. In a word, she has guts. This is a woman who is proud of her country, not because it has granted her personal success, but because she respects what America stands for: freedom, opportunity, and individualism.
Obama is a vapid demagogue, a hollow man that despises American culture. He is ill-suited to be president of the United States. As the weeks pass, more Americans will come to this realization and elect McCain/Palin in a landslide.
DAVID DEMING is an associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, but his opinions do not necessarily represent those of the university.