Missing Patriotism: The Roots of a Prostitution Scandal

The Secret Service's sexcapade in Cartagena, Colombia, is the equivalent of having the members of a presidential honor guard parade down the street while swaying drunkenly with prostitutes draped across their shoulders. Our liberal media is doing its best to minimize the backlash of this disgusting event on the Democratic Party, because it in fact represents a crowning blow to our cherished American exceptionalism and our vaunted worldwide prestige.

Two days after September 11, 2001, I landed in Berlin on a trip with my wife, an American political analyst. We were having lunch with friends at the enormous KaDeWe department store, and I wandered off in search of something to bring back for our dinner. The manager of the food department, noticing the American flag on my lapel, asked if I was an American. “Champagne for everyone,” he ordered, when I told him I had just flown over from the U.S. “Without America and the Airlift, we would be speaking Russian now,” he explained. Soon after that, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi stated: “We will never forget that we owe our freedom -- our freedom -- and our wealth to the United States of America. And our democracy.”

“I decided I won’t wear that [flag] pin on my chest,” Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic contender for the White House, announced publicly on October 3, 2007. “Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.” The next day, his campaign explained what being a patriot meant: “Speaking honestly with the American people about this disastrous war [in Iraq].” Senator Obama labeled that war an apocalyptic mistake and called for the unconditional withdrawal of our troops. Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader, famously declared: “The war is lost.” Democratic Congressman John Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Defense, solemnly told the Washington Times: “All of Iraq must know Iraq is free -- free from United States’ occupation.”

After Senator Obama was elected president, he began wearing the American flag pin. Indeed, there is no better place than the White House to inspire patriotism. The leaders of his Democratic Party, however, continued to condemn their own country's wars, and to portray our brave military forces as Genghis Khan hordes. Retired general Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander who had just lost his attempt to win the Democratic nomination for the White House, even wanted Congress to “determine whether President Bush was a criminal by advocating a war against Saddam Hussein,” and he looked the other way when one of his supporters grabbed his microphone to call our commander-in-chief a “deserter."

How did our venerable American sense of patriotism arrive at this low point?

On May 27, 2008, Senator Joseph Lieberman described the problem in a nutshell. “Democrats under Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy forged and conducted a foreign policy that was principled, internationalist, strong, and successful,” he said. “Now, the Democratic Party sees America as the main danger to the world’s peace. [According to the Democrats,] the Soviets and their allies were our enemies not because they were inspired by a totalitarian ideology fundamentally hostile to our way of life, or because they nursed ambitions of global conquest. Rather, the Soviets were our enemies because we had provoked them, and because we failed to sit down and accord them the respect they deserved. In other words, the Cold War was mostly America’s fault."