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  • What are Obama’s True Feelings About America and Americans?

    Posted by David Foster on February 19th, 2015 (All posts by )

    Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani:

    “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,  He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

    In 2009, I wrote a post titled he’s just not that into us in which I contrasted Obama’s attitude toward his fellow Americans with George Orwell’s attitude toward Britain and the Brits, noting that clearly Obama does not identify with America in the same sort of way that Orwell identified with England, and asking: “Why, then, did Obama wish to become our President?”

    I think the post has stood up pretty well over the last 5 years…it is reproduced below, with some additional comments at the end.

    Here’s George Orwell, writing in 1940 about England and the English:

    When you come back to England from any foreign country, you have immediately the sensation of breathing a different air. Even in the first few minutes dozens of small things conspire to give you this feeling. The beer is bitterer, the coins are heavier, the grass is greener, the advertisements are more blatant. The crowds in the big towns, with their mild knobby faces, their bad teeth and gentle manners, are different from a European crowd. Then the vastness of England swallows you up, and you lose for a while your feeling that the whole nation has a single identifiable character. Are there really such things as nations? Are we not forty-six million individuals, all different? And the diversity of it, the chaos! The clatter of clogs in the Lancashire mill towns, the to-and-fro of the lorries on the Great North Road, the queues outside the Labour Exchanges, the rattle of pin tables in the Soho pubs, the old maids biking to Holy Communion through the mists of the autumn morning – all these are not only fragments, but characteristic fragments, of the English scene. How can one make a pattern out of this muddle?

    But talk to foreigners, read foreign books or newspapers, and you are brought back to the same thought. Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillarboxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches in to the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantlepiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.

    And above all, it is your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillarboxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side of the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you.

    George Orwell was a socialist. He wanted to see radical transformation in his society. But in the above passage, he displays real affection for the English people and their culture.

    Can anyone imagine Barack Obama writing something parallel to the above about America and the American people? To ask the question is to answer it. Clearly, Obama does not identify with America in the same sort of way that Orwell identified with England.

    Why, then, did Obama wish to become our President?

    Two analogies come to mind…

     

    Analogy #1: We are a young woman in a 19th-century English novel. Our personality is a bit quirky and not to everyone’s taste; however, we are good-looking by most standards, and we carry an enormous dowry.  Obama is a young gentleman of scant means who finds us pretty strange and not really to his liking, but nevertheless has wooed us fervently, knowing that once we are married he will win the admiration of his friends–we’re considered a darned good catch–and will become quite wealthy. And he’s confident that in short order he will be able to use his charm and his authority over us to change our personality into something more to his liking.

    Analogy #2: We are a large corporation with a fabled history but also with some current problems. Obama is our new CEO. He has a very low opinion of our executives, our workers, and our product line. His previous experience, ever since leaving business school, has been as a consultant, teaching theories about strategy and restructuring. He is very eager to prove these theories out in practice, and he is prepared to be quite ruthless in eliminating traditionally-successful parts of the business–and ways of doing things–in order to implement his strategic vision.

    Further developing these thoughts, especially Analogy #2….Obama’s approach to just about everything is heavily influenced by his attitude of simplistic abstraction.  There is much in Obama that is reminiscent of the syndrome C S Lewis attributed to his protagonist (a sociologist) in his novel That Hideous Strength:

    “..his education had had the curious effect of making things that he read and wrote more real to him than the things he saw. Statistics about agricultural laboureres were the substance: any real ditcher, ploughman, or farmer’s boy, was the shadow…he had a great reluctance, in his work, to ever use such words as “man” or “woman.” He preferred to write about “vocational groups,” “elements,” “classes,” and “populations”: for, in his own way, he believed as firmly as any mystic in the superior reality of the things that are not seen.”

    and also:

    It must be remembered that in Mark’s mind hardly one rag of noble thought, either Christian or Pagan, had a secure lodging. His education had been neither scientific nor classical–merely “Modern”. The severities both of abstraction and of high human tradition had passed him by: and he had neither peasant shrewdness nor aristocratic honour to help him. He was a man of straw, a glib examinee in subjects that require no exact knowledge… 

     

    24 Responses to “What are Obama’s True Feelings About America and Americans?”

    1. Mike K Says:

      From a similar thread over at Pattericos.

      My comment

      ” It does matter to me that he doesn’t seem to “get” the country.”

      I agree and that is a problem for many on the left. Read Huffington Post or one of the other lefty blogs. The most important characteristic Obama has to most of them is his race. That is what makes them feel good and that is what is important. Ms Harf says the jihadis only need jobs and that makes her feel good about herself. It doesn’t matter to her that many of the worst come from the educated classes in Muslim countries. She doesn’t know, or doesn’t care that Sayyid Qutb taught school in Centennial Colorado and was horrified to see men and women dance together in 1950s America. He then went on to found the Muslim Brotherhood that is at the root of our war.

      As for whether Obama “loves America,” I doubt he loves anything but himself. As for his feelings about the country, if he thinks about it, it is probably on the order of wondering why we were so dumb as to vote him into office. I doubt he is even that objective. He probably considers us lucky to know him.

      Lenin was very uninterested in people as individuals. I think that is also true of Obama.

    2. David Foster Says:

      Much longer Giuliani videos at Israellycool:

      http://www.israellycool.com/2015/02/18/must-watch-the-rage-of-rudy/

    3. Mike K Says:

      Too bad comments are closed on my last Ebola post but The Washington Post now acknowledges that Ebola is subject to air transmission.

      A team of prominent researchers suggested Thursday that limited airborne transmission of the Ebola virus is “very likely,” a hypothesis that could reignite the debate that started last fall after one of the scientists offered the same opinion.

      “It is very likely that at least some degree of Ebola virus transmission currently occurs via infectious aerosols generated from the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, or medical procedures, although this has been difficult to definitively demonstrate or rule out, since those exposed to infectious aerosols also are most likely to be in close proximity to, and in direct contact with, an infected case,” the scientists wrote. Their peer-reviewed study was published in mBio, a journal of the American Society of Microbiology.

      Oh well.

      Sorry to go OT.

    4. Sgt. Mom Says:

      My daughter and I have kicked this around time without number over the last couple of years or so … and no, I don’t think Obama really does ‘get’ us – the US. He’s … disconnected, having been raised more or less in some social-ideological bell-jar. My daughter things that he sees the rest of the world, especially Muslims as the perennial underdog, and we have always been the overdog, and to him that is neither right nor fair, so he wants to put things right … and take us down a peg. Several pegs. He wouldn’t mind in the least seeing everyone in the US — especially the independent working and middle-class who have the quaint notion that they can order their own lives and communities without the generous assistance of the ruling class — but his oligarchic chums as powerless, poor and miserable. The powerless, poor and miserable make so much easier subjects to rule over, dontchaknow. They don’t dare give any lip to their lords and betters.

    5. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>Why, then, did Obama wish to become our President?

      Fundamental transformation.

    6. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Fundamental transformation … and the vacations. And the parties with celebrities. And then the post-presidential retirement is supposed to be pretty nifty retirement plan, as well. Lots of well-paid speaking engagements, any number of basically ceremonial (and also well-paid) sinecures, breathless groupies hanging on every word. Nice job if you can get it.

    7. Mike K Says:

      “the vacations. And the parties with celebrities.”

      I have wondered a few times if Obama is the reincarnation of Adam Clayton Powell. He sure shares some proclivities with him.

    8. Veryretired Says:

      He’s a front for the political money machine that picked him out years ago, groomed him, told him what to say, ran him for the state legislature and directed the “dirty tricks” used against his opponent, ran him for the US Senate, wrote his speeches, protected him, funded him, greased him into the White House, and has been collecting the playoffs, patronage, and political and economic policies their ideology demands these last several years.

      It fascinates me that anybody tries to parse the shill as if he actually meant something one way or the other.

      Look behind the curtain and see who’s providing the money, writing his speeches, developing his policy positions, and really running the show. The wizard, and all the thunder and lightening, the smoke and mirrors, the projected image, are a punch n Judy show.

      Find out whose pulling the strings, and you’ll know where the power truly lies.

    9. vxxc2014 Says:

      Very Retired nails his actual rise to power.

      As to who he is: he’s #1, #2 and #3 – Grandson of a Mau Mau and Whitey gonna pay.

      My Grandfather was also in a British Prison and mistreated as a prisoner of war.

      What does that have to do with America or England today?

      Nothing. But I’m not a Salon Mau-Mau. Remember this is the only publicly expressed emotion from Obama ever, the subject of his absent Kenyan Father.

    10. dearieme Says:

      The people who have power over Obama are presumably the people who know about the various events and periods in his life that he is so keen not to reveal.

    11. Mike K Says:

      “The people who have power over Obama”

      I just don’t know about him. I tend to be skeptical about conspiracy theories but there may be some people who helped him and influenced him. The Bill Clinton Arkansas theories didn’t go anywhere.

      The ISIS people have a definite strategy that doesn’t include jobs.

      IS forces are probing Baghdad. Several IS leaders are Iraqi Sunnis with ties to Saddam Hussein’s regime; they definitely want to seize control of Iraq. Two former Iraqi Army lieutenant colonels hold high positions in the IS military hierarchy. Al-Baghdadi met them when they were imprisoned at the old Camp Bucca detention complex.

      IS leaders have goals beyond Iraq. Civilized people may dismiss their goals as sociopathic delusions, but men like al-Baghdadi believe control of Iraq and Libya will position them to seize Egypt (population resources) and Saudi Arabia (dominating energy resources). This regional caliphate then goes global.

      I know people who say we have no real interest in the middle east and blame Israel for entangling us. I don’t agree. Italy is being deluged with refugees from Libya. They may have a point in their fear.

      Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry….. the military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission—especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State.

      The US border is probably not the aim although we could see a few more Known Wolf attacks this year.

      Obama does not seem to be very interested and is only willing to make a few noises when pressed by Democrats in electoral trouble. He is baking a cake and we are only the flour.

    12. Recruiting Animal Says:

      Rudy Giuliani is a lively speaker but I wdnt be surprised if he was an egomaniac. Did you notice that he talks about “his” firefighters like he’s a king or a general. This just screams: it’s all about me.

      I think he was way out of line with these remarks. Does he get America? What does that mean? That you have to be a noisy cheerleader?

      That’s not what Orwell said. He just meant you have to recognize that you bear the marks of your culture and I’m sure Obama does even if he is not as extroverted and about it as Rudy.

    13. David Foster Says:

      When Obama talked about America’s “bitter clingers”…

      “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

      …do you think that demonstrated affection for his fellow countrymen? (Note that if a factory worker is opposed to unlimited immigration or unlimited trade, based on what he perceives to be his economic interest, that makes him a “bitter clinger”…but if an executive who is a potential large political contributor is *for* unlimited immigration or a particular trade deal based on his own economic interest, that is just fine. Also, “clinging to religion” is a very odd criticism from someone who represented himself as a Christian….I was sort of under the impression that Christians are *supposed* to cling to religion. Do you think maybe Obama might have misrepresented his religious beliefs during the campaign?)

      And when Obama told Americans not to “get on our high horse” about ISIS and other Islamic atrocities, do you think that demonstrated affection for his fellow countrymen?

      I have no doubt that Giuliani has a strong ego, as do most politicians, but I don’t think it holds a candle to Obama’s.

    14. Mike K Says:

      “you have to recognize that you bear the marks of your culture and I’m sure Obama does even if he is not as extroverted and about it as Rudy.”

      I think he carries a health dose of what he picked up in the madrases in Indonesia. Not to mention his weird mother and odd grandfather.

    15. Russian Bear Says:

      He is a jihadi. His goal is to destroy America and to end the world. His weapon is Russia.

    16. Mike K Says:

      Th radical left is going on full panic mode on Giuliani You’d think Obama had been raped or something.

      And then a curious but familiar phenomenon occurred. The original comments exhausted of their news value and having squeezed every ounce of convincingly authentic outrage out of the story, the media went on to make this a two-day event by seeking reaction quotes. Every Republican worth his or her salt was soon expected to comment on remarks uttered by political figure who has not held elected office since 2001.

      “The mayor can speak for himself,” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was asked by CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin. “I’ll tell you, I love America.”

      Insufficient. Cowardly! Walker was probed again. “I’m in New York,” Walker finally ceded. “I’m used to people saying things that are aggressive out there.”

      It’s really pretty funny. Giuliani might make some serious dough off this.

    17. Bilwick Says:

      In that 2009 post you linked to, about Obama being just not that into us, you offer a couple of analogies to illustrate your point. I would like to offer a couple more.

      (1) Obama loves America the way some trailer-trash wife-beater on COPS loves his spouse: “Honey, I love you, but you just get me so goldurned mad some times I just gotta smack you around to keep you in line! THERE! See what you made me do to you?!”

      (2) Probably all of us have known a woman (it could be a man, of course, but I’ve found this mostly happens with women) who is engaged or even married to a guy who is nothing like the kind of guy she claimed to have been looking for. And she may have convinced herself that she genuinely loves the guy she’s with. But she’ll browbeat, henpeck and in general torture the poor schnook, thinking she can transform him into the guy she should have married in the first place. I wish “liberals” like Obama (and by “liberals” I mean of course “tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping State-fellators”) would just go “marry” Cuba or Sweden or some other paradise-on-earth, and leave those of us who value our liberty the hell alone.

    18. Will Says:

      I know someone who worked at the same firm Guiliani did. They (a democrat) have steadfastly maintained he was very pleasant to work around and professional. He was virulently hated in the city by the left. But many residents loved him. The Buddy Cianci of NYC, if you will, (minus the prison stay). My only complaint with the guy is that he is a Yankees fan.

      As for the other guy, I’d say Russian Bear is hitting close to dead center.

    19. David Foster Says:

      The indispensable Kevin Williamson writes about Obama as Holden Caulfield

      (For those who don’t recognize the name, Holden Caulfield was the whiny adolescent protagonist of “Catcher in the Rye,” a book which has been imposed upon several generations of American teenagers)

    20. Mike K Says:

      “would just go “marry” Cuba or Sweden or some other paradise-on-earth, and leave those of us who value our liberty the hell alone.”

      This is why those women take up with guys they want to change. He is a project. Obama saw us as a project.

    21. David Foster Says:

      Mike put it very well: Obama is baking a cake, and we are only the flour.

    22. RonaldF Says:

      The question that should be asked of President Obama is “Do you love this country more than any other country?”. This will put him in a bind, as all countries are equal in the minds of academia and the left.

    23. dearieme Says:

      “What are Obama’s True Feelings About …. Americans?” I suspect that many politicians despise their electors. Most have the sense not to make it too obvious.

    24. David Foster Says:

      Glenn Reynolds writes about love, patriotism, and Obama, in USA Today:

      Unpatriotic voters elect unpatriotic leaders