Why does Obama’s tolerant, apologetic America seem so very self-centered?
by Victor Davis Hanson
The liberal writ was that a strutting “bring ’em on” George W. Bush for eight years did what he pleased on the international scene. His “unilateral” America supposedly did not consult with either allies or international organizations, as he rammed through democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush’s “my way or the highway” personal credo resulted in an America alone.
Obama, of course, was hailed as the multifaceted antidote to all that. The new nontraditional America would reach out to the world. We would now listen rather than lecture. This was a welcome reflection of Barack Obama’s own cool and tolerant approach to politics, learned as a seasoned community organizer in Chicago.
But things have not quite worked out as planned. Barack Obama to all appearances is certainly more relaxed than Bush. And he resonates abroad as a nontraditional American. Indeed, Obama is now the paradigm of America’s ongoing metamorphosis into something more like the rest of the planet.
Yet in his own way Obama projects a far more prissy, self-indulgent America than we had under Bush. And that self-centeredness seems a logical extension of the new commander-in-chief himself.
How can that be, given Obama’s well-known apologies — for everything from slavery and our treatment of Native Americans to being imperious toward Europeans and Muslims? In obsequious fashion, we have sought to assure the Russians that we won’t deploy anti-ballistic missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic. Obama has reminded the Chinese that they enjoy sovereignty over Taiwan. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, the Castro brothers, Hugo Chávez, and assorted other old enemies of the United States are suddenly considered either neutrals or friends.
It seems counterintuitive, then, to suggest that Obama’s America is increasingly self-absorbed... Read the whole article.
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- Fr. Christopher George Phillips
- Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.