The race for President in 2016 is in full swing and already the potential candidates are lining up. Suffice it to say that candidates and their supporters are already saying really stupid things. The latest comes from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He’s decided not to run for President in 2016 but wants people to listen to him. The 24 hour news cycle loves to play and replay stupid and outrageous comments.
Enter Rudy. Last Wednesday (the 18th) he was speaking at a private dinner that included assumed presidential candidate Scott Walker. Here’s what Rudy said:
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.
OK Rudy, let me say a few things to you about this:
- Can you give some examples? I’m always amused when people like you make broad, inflammatory statements but don’t give examples. I like to think of myself as fairly well read but I don’t remember ever hearing the President say anything disparaging about America. I’m also astounded that, as I read through various accounts, nobody has asked you to give examples.
- I know you (and those who agree with you) feign offense at this, but this charge finds its base in racism. No other president in recent memory has had to defend himself against the charge of not loving America. And no other president has come to us from African descent. I wrote about this in 2008 and it’s as true today as ever. Those of us who opposed the decisions of President Bush never, ever questioned his love of America. We also never doubted clear and definitive proof that he was born here.
- Finally, and I think this is the crux of the matter, is this truth: you don’t believe President Obama loves America unless he hates everyone else. Most of our allies were once our enemies: England (the Revolution), France (remember Freedom Fries?), Germany (World War II). While the Bush administration made it clear that we live in a black and white world (“You’re either with us or against us“), President Obama sees the complexity of world politics and looks for solutions. If this make him someone who hates America, count me in.