Perhaps this was simply the language of the community organizing, Bill Ayres/Saul Alinsky following radical—the impertinent immaturity of a man new to the office. Surely, once Obama appreciated the realities of the crucible that is the Oval Office he would abandon the “blame American first,” post-American rhetoric and adopt a pro-American rhetoric.
Fast forward four years to May 3, 2013. President Obama is in Mexico and states:
We . . . recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States. I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms, and as President I swore an oath to uphold that right and I always will. But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do.
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This is a neat trick of rhetorical slight-of-hand. Open with what may be a factual statement, but leave the impression that Mexican violence is the fault of gun-toting America instead of Mexican thugs. Then, extol the Second Amendment and your oath of office . . . with a caveat—and this is important. Say you’re simply trying to “pass common-sense reforms” to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people.”
Now, any thinking person when they hear these words immediately understands that this is a sham. Obama’s “common-sense reforms” will do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of “criminals and dangerous people,” though it will keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, who contribute nothing to the violence at home or abroad. And Obama knows it.
The message the President actually communicated was:
“America is to blame for violence in Mexico. It’s America’s fault. But I—the post-American president and citizen of the world—am going to do what is right for America and Mexico by making gun ownership more restrictive.”
The President intentionally painted the United States in the least favorable light while trying to score domestic political points on foreign soil. (To say nothing about the rank hypocrisy of his statement—his failure to mention the illegal and botched gun running scheme of Fast and Furious, which killed some two hundred Mexicans and one American boarder patrol agent.)
No other president, Democrat or Republican, has spoken about America like Barack Obama. Except perhaps Jimmy Carter, who blamed the American people for the “malaise” of the late 1970s.
What Carter didn’t understand then and what Obama doesn’t understand now is that the problem with America is not America, it’s those who blame America first.
If you enjoyed this article you can find more like it at derrickjeter.com, where you’ll also find information about my books, O America! A Manifesto on Liberty, A 911 for 9/11: Finding Answers to the Evil of September 11, 2001, and Our Day of Dependence: A History Lesson from Thanksgiving.
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