Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Radical Realism of Barack Obama

In July 2008, the Democratic candidate for the US presidency gave an address at the Brandenburg Gates. As many as 200,000 Berliners came to hear Barack Obama attempt to echo the heroic sentiments of two American leaders who came before him. “Ich bin ein Berliner,” declared President Kennedy back in 1963, throwing his – and America’s – lot in with the freedom-loving citizens of West Berlin. President Reagan, almost a quarter-of-a-century later, took it a step further and spoke for all the people of Berlin, including the unfortunate souls trapped in East Berlin: “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” There were lines in Obama’s speech that very nearly sounded Kennedy-like or Reaganesque: “People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time!” The difference is that both Kennedy and Reagan defied a foreign Leftist adversary keen to defeat America, while Obama exemplifies par excellence a homegrown Leftism that defeats America from within.

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