Monday, May 20, 2024

Definition of patriotism misconstrued

Within six years, President Obama has increased the Dow Jones by nearly 10,000, lowered unemployment by 2 percent and raised consumer confidence by 57 percent, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But for some, including former mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani, Obama’s patriotism is still something to question.

At a private Republican dinner at the 21 Club, Giuliani addressed the audience: “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…”

Giuliani said he is at a new level of worry for his country because of terrorism groups such as ISIS and ISIL. But does that give him grounds to call Obama unpatriotic? Of course not. This is not a matter of his love, it’s sadly one of the color of his skin.

In a phone interview on “The Sean Hannity Show,” Giuliani went on about his skepticism of Obama’s patriotism by saying, “President Obama didn’t live through Sept. 11 — I did. President Obama didn’t almost — you know — have a building fall on him — myself and my Police Commissioner and my Fire Commissioner did.”

For Giuliani to bring the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 into the equation of Obama’s legitimacy is appalling. It’s not even a rational argument. It’s simply something Giuliani clings to whenever someone challenges his comments or philosophy.

Let’s get something straight: White does not mean patriotic. To say a biracial man does not love his country because of his not-so impulsive decision-making process when it comes to combating terrorist groups like ISIS and ISIL is shameful.

I understand what Giuliani did for New York after Sept. 11, but you know who else lived through that day? Everybody now over the age of 13. And, yes, that includes President Obama. We were all affected by those attacks, not just Giuliani. For him to use this as a supporting argument toward Obama’s “lack of patriotism” is ludicrous.

But it gets better.

The same day he used a terrorist attack to disparage Obama, Giuliani explained on “FOX & Friends” that he wasn’t questioning Obama’s patriotism. “He’s a patriot I’m sure,” Giuliani said.

This is beyond contradictory of what he initially said at the Republican dinner. Patriotism almost directly defined as a love for one’s country.

Giuliani has been desperately trying to cover his tracks by constantly explaining what he meant by his comments targeted at Obama. And it’s not helping.

“To say, as the president has, that American exceptionalism is no more exceptional than the exceptionalism of any other country in the world, does not suggest a becoming and endearing modesty, but rather a stark lack of moral clarity,” Giuliani said.

I applaud Obama’s outlook on America. We need to stop being the ethnocentric nation we are and begin to educate ourselves on the cultures of other countries so that we can better understand them. Because of this ethnocentricity, Americans possess an “our way or the highway” mentality, an attitude extremely detrimental to the progress we’re looking to make.

Sure, it’s great to be proud of the country you hail from, but it’s not all about freedom fries and toast. It’s about appreciating the person next to us, not because their also American, but because they’re also a human being.

Email Chris Burek at

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