Sarah Palin recently took to her Facebook page to claim that President Obama does not accept the greatness of America. Palin said, “We have a President, perhaps for the very first time since the founding of our republic, who doesn’t appear to believe that America is the greatest earthly force for good the world has ever known.”
Palin was summarizing her remarks during an appearance in Norfolk, VA over the weekend on her Facebook page where she previewed her 2012 attack against Obama, “We have a President, perhaps for the very first time since the founding of our republic, who doesn’t appear to believe that America is the greatest earthly force for good the world has ever known.”
She then presented her evidence, “When asked whether he believed in American exceptionalism, President Obama answered, ‘I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.’ Amazing. Amazing. I think this statement speaks volumes about his world view. He sees nothing unique in the American experience? Really? Our founding, and our founding mothers and fathers? Really? And our history over the past two and half centuries?”
Palin even dug up the old apology line, “Really? He sees nothing unique in an America that fought and won two world wars and in victory sought not one inch of territory or one dollar of plunder? He sees nothing unique in an America that, though exhausted by conflict, still laid the foundation for security in Europe and Asia after World War II? He sees nothing unique in an America that prevailed against an evil ideology in the Cold War? Does he just see a country that has to be apologized for around the world, especially to dictators?”
The former half termer continued, “President Obama actually seems reluctant to even embrace American power. Earlier this year when he was asked about his faltering Middle East peace process, he said, ‘…whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.’ Whether we like it or not?! Really? Mr. President, this may come as news to you, but most Americans actually do like it. And so do our allies. They know it was our military might that liberated countless millions from tyranny, slavery, and oppression over the last 234 years. Yes, we do like it. As a dominant superpower, the United States has won wars hot and cold; our military has advanced the cause of freedom and kept authoritarian powers in check.”
Palin wrapped up by claiming that Obama’s foreign policy is weakening America, “It is in America’s and the world’s best interests for our country to remain the dominant military superpower, but under President Obama’s leadership that dominance may be slipping away. It’s the result of an agenda that reeks of complacency and defeatism.”
This isn’t the first time that Palin has chopped an Obama quote in order to portray him as hating America. Here is Obama’s full quote, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don’t think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.”
The president also said, “Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we’ve got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we’re not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.”
He continued, “And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.”
Obama never said that he did not see anything unique or exceptional in the American experience. He expressed pride in our nation’s sacrifices and achievements. He even acknowledged America’s extraordinary role in the world. Comparing Obama and Palin quotes side by side is an illuminating exercise. Palin, or her Facebook ghostwriter in this case, offers up the most rudimentary appeals to patriotism and nationalism, with no thought or policy behind it. Palin, much like George W. Bush before her, and Ronald Reagan before them both is making an emotional play on patriotism.
If anyone doubts Obama’s love of his country, and knowledge of its greatness, here is a quote from his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, “Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation – not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago.”
It isn’t Barack Obama who doubts America’s greatness but a certain former governor who is trying to cast doubt over America’s sustained greatness, in the hope that she can paint herself as the great American savior and ride a wave of “USA” chants to the White House. Sarah Palin’s lack of faith in the American people has led her to this attempted cynical manipulation of hearts and minds, but people need to look beneath the surface and realize that it is impossible for a friend of a secessionist movement, like Sarah Palin is to understand the true greatness of America. The real patriot is Barack Obama, not friends of the AIP secessionist movement, like Sarah and Todd Palin.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association