Former mayor of New York City Rudy Guiliani sparked a debate amongst politicians and all Americans with a comment he made about President Obama at a private event.
Guiliani’s remarks, made at a New York fund-raising event for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on Wednesday night, were first reported by Politico:
“…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.”
Despite immediate Democratic kick back against him and the death threats Giuliani has claimed to have gotten in a nation whose constitution protects freedom of speech, he did not back down.
In a later interview he stated, “I don’t feel this love of America. I believe his initial approach is to criticize this country, and then afterwards to say a few nice things about us.”
Many opinions on the remarks did not necessarily follow political lines with criticism and praise coming from both sides of the isle. Many question whether Guiliani’s argument holds any water, or if it is it a disrespectful remark towards the office of the presidency.
Supporters of “America’s Mayor,” the moniker Giuliani was given after the Sept. 11 attacks, can point out a plethora of events that call into question President Obama’s patriotism. After President Obama spoke on the beheading of American Journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in August of 2014, he promptly returned to the golf course when his speech had ended, calling into question the amount of grief he felt for American’s being executed under his administration.
Americans may also remember just a few weeks ago when the President compared ISIS to Jim Crow laws in the United States.
And finally, who can forget President Obama’s 2009 comment, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism,” which was interpreted as the President insinuating that American exceptionalism is simply a fabrication of our own patriotism.
Others believe that Obama’s unilateral actions on issues such as immigration have highlighted his reluctance to work with other branches of government, and thus his disrespect of separation of powers and the American system.
The former Mayor also pointed out Obama’s contact with Communist organizers, that he made when he was as a child living in Indonesia with his mother. Guiliani continued to back up his argument by citing President Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright, who made several un-American comments in publicized sermons when Obama was just a senator.
Supporters of Guiliani claim that these un-American ties affect the president’s mindset toward the land of the free and the home of the brave. Undoubtedly, these strong influences on his upbringing and throughout his adulthood have affected his view on this great nation and the systems, economic, political and diplomatic, that keep it running. Another influence on him was his time spent in the sphere of Ivy League academia, which tends to be hyper-critical of the West.
Ramapo students seem to be divided when it comes to this debate.
Andrew Ivory, a Ramapo freshman and business major, said, “Regardless of whether you agree with Guiliani’s position or not, you can respect his honesty and the fact that he was willing to spark a debate among Americans.”
Another Ramapo freshman had a different approach.
Caroline Beatrice, a communications major, said, “To say that about the president is disrespectful. Guiliani is trying to pin on the president some type of ridiculous conspiracy that isn’t founded in any type of logic.”
When compared to his recent predecessors, Barack Obama does hold a distinct difference in the way he speaks about our country. This was the heart of the message behind Guiliani’s comments. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the mayor wrote,
“Presidents John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all possessed the ability to walk a fine line by placing any constructive criticisms regarding the ways the country might improve in the context of their unbending belief in American exceptionalism. Those presidents acknowledged America’s flaws, but always led with a fundamental belief in the country’s greatness and the example we set for the world.”
President Obama cannot be added to that list. Regardless of the President’s intentions or the convictions in his heart, he has not led with the same unending vigor for American exceptionalism as former presidents.
Whether one believes this is right or wrong is a matter of opinion, but to make a case for the former is quite difficult. The President’s rhetoric has served as a clear sign that he will point out mistakes rather than praise the liberty and prosperity of the American cause. He is quicker to criticize this great nation than to stand up for its fundamentals. Obama is more likely to appease the evil in the world than to stand up for justice. Leading in this fashion can bring nothing but detriment for the United States of America and the rest of the world.