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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Apologizing for Americans

Every family has one: the dotty aunt, or crazy in-law. Think of the Griswolds in “Christmas Vacation.”

I remember growing up in an immigrant home that was smaller than my friends’ homes. My parents were definitely not “cool,” spoke with an accent and drove third-and-fourth- hand cars.

When I hung out, I usually went to my friends’ homes.

But while I never wanted to show my parents off, I never apologized for them. They were my family; they provided for me growing up, fed and clothed me on their meager earnings: my father’s salary sweeping floors in a factory and my mother working as a housekeeper. They lived through two world wars in Europe and protected their children during the carnage and the Holocaust. I loved them deeply and I always will.

I think of all the sacrifices other Americans – both natural born and immigrant - have made for their families during times of economic turmoil and war. I think of the sacrifices both in blood and treasure American have made for others in this world and am incredibly grateful.

Were there secrets that my family kept that if shown the light of day would cause shame or embarrassment? Sure.

Have the American people led spotless lives? No. No people have.

But Obama’s world tour reminds me of the newly rich “sophisticate.” You know the kind. The first one in his family to go to college, who shows his snobbish friends how he’s grown beyond his roots by apologizing for his family.

Denying them their dignity.
Denying them their value.
Denying that they have struggled, and fought and overcome.

In the company of others, he laughs at their accents, their habits, their faith, the way they talk and dress, the kind of restaurants they go to when to go out to eat. The ones who made this Titan possible are now the people who he uses to demonstrate his superiority. He not only apologizes for the people he came from, but does so in a way that says to those he wants to impress: “Look at me, I’m one of you! Join me in denigrating them. I don’t mind, I’m not one of them.”

Obama’s world tour had more than its share of moments that reminds us all of his actual roots. He’s not a natural sophisticate. His entire persona is an act. He’s what the French call a parvenu.

And like almost all of his kind, he’s got an attitude. Michelle Obama's statement: "for the first time in my adult life I'm proud of my country" is one of the most revealing things said by the Obamas in the last year. I think it exactly true, and it's an opinion shared by a large part of the Liberal sphere. Obama's attitude and the things he has said, especially on his world tour, is an accurate reflection of that.

He also has the keys to the treasury and he’s the Commander-in-chief of US Armed Forces. And he's throwing Americans under the bus.

If that’s not enough to scare you, you’re not thinking things through. What do you think of Obama apologizing for you?

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