Sunday, November 15, 2009

Presidential Obsequity

Our president is making the rounds of Asian capitals this week and the first photo the Colonel saw from his sojourn was of H bowing very low before the Japanese Emperor. One wonders if the Saudi king, for whom our president "didn't bow," is miffed at this. Frankly, the Colonel was almost willing to give H a pass on the Saudi bow; chalking it up to a reflexive action reflecting our President's childhood indoctrination in an Indonesian madras. Old habits are hard to break. But, the bow before the Emperor of Japan cannot be explained as anything but a calculated show of deference. The irony is that the Japanese emperor ought to be bowing to American presidents. Were it not for American grace, unprecedented in the history of victorious warring nations, at the end of WWII, the present emperor's father, Hirohito, would have been hanged, as was the fate of his war minister, Tojo.

President Obama's evident disdain for American tradition and time-honored protocol has the Colonel wondering just how far all of this will go. What America-demeaning gesture or self-serving apologetics will be employed in the next capital on his overseas schedule? Having an affable bumbler like our previous president making personally embarrassing gaffs abroad is one thing. Reducing our great nation in the eyes of others just to gain favor is quite another, and constitutionally unacceptable.

The irony of all of this foreign royalty reverence is that it runs diametrically opposed to the egalitarian ideals inherent in socialism and liberalism (if a difference can be discerned between the two). In this is manifest the vacuous nature of the political positions staked out by those on the left. Were liberals true to their ideals, they would be howling in protest at an American president fawning over representatives of the last vestiges of hereditary royalty on the planet. Instead, they will defend the obsequious actions of our president abroad as pragmatic steps to curry favor with peoples whose opinion of us must be softened.

It's enough to drive this old centurion crazy--if he weren't already several rounds short of a full magazine.
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