This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell was published June 12, 2012 on The Patriot Post website.
Talk show host, Bill Press, doesn’t like the Star-Spangled Banner. Imagine: a liberal talk show that’s not on NPR! His radio show is simulcast on Current TV. Bill Press likes provoking conservatives, but I’m not sure we should be provoked by his outburst against the National Anthem. Bill Press seems to be testing the old philosopher’s question: If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a noise? If you say something on Current TV, does anyone hear it?
Press adds: “It is a major crusade of mine to get rid of the Star-Spangled Banner. Now I know you’re going to say I am not a true American, I’m not patriotic. I don’t think patriotism has anything to do with it. The National Anthem is just absolutely monumentally un-singable. I mean there’s so much wrong with it. I don’t know where to start. It’s an abomination.”
With Flag Day approaching, Bill Press sure chose a bad time to express his disdain for a cherished national institution. He couldn’t top Roseanne Barr, of course, who infamously scratched her crotch while “O Saying.”
Still, it’s worth asking: What is it with liberals that they are forever saying and doing things that lead people to question their patriotism — and then they howl in rage when folks question their patriotism?
Consider Barack Obama, the most liberal president in history. In 2007, then-Sen. Obama was campaigning in the Heartland. At the famous Iowa State Fair, he raised eyebrows when he failed to place his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. The photograph has been verified. It’s curious. Hillary knew what to do. So did Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Tom Harkin’s missus. Liberals all, they nonetheless knew that folks expect their leaders to show respect for the flag.
Last year, the Internet exploded with condemnation for our First Lady and the President. Conservative bloggers charged that Mrs. Obama had said: “All this for a d____d flag!” But to determine this, viewers relied on lip reading.
It seems to me that the last time we tried to read a president’s lips, it didn’t turn out so well. “Read My Lips,” was Bush 41’s most memorable quote, and his most unfortunate one. I’d give the First Couple the benefit of the doubt on that one.
Much harder to excuse was President Obama’s bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia.
The King runs a country where there is little freedom. Converts from Islam are beheaded. Jews cannot live there. Christians cannot wear crosses there, or carry Bibles. And women cannot even drive out of that country.
Then, there was the matter of the “Open Mic” gaffe with outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Mr. Obama was caught telling the Russian stand-in to let his puppet master in the Kremlin know that the U.S. would be more “flexible” after Obama’s re-election. Surely this was the most shocking instance of collusion at the highest levels in American history.
The man Obama was signaling is Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB agent who has reinstated Joe Stalin’s Soviet-era anthem and who has replaced in police headquarters a bust of “Iron Felix Dzerzhinsky,” the father of the dreaded Soviet secret police.
For Mr. Obama, this is part of a lifelong pattern. As a teen, he willingly associated himself with Frank Marshall Davis. As Grove City College professor, Paul Kengor, Ph.D., has shown in his book-length treatment, Frank Marshall Davis (a Communist) was a strong influence on the young Barack Obama, an influence that Obama himself acknowledged in his first memoir, Dreams from My Father.
Scholar Stanley Kurtz documents the fact that Mr. Obama’s early friendship with his Davis was no youthful excess. Obama himself notes that he sought out the most radical professors and students at Occidental College and at Columbia University. At Columbia, Obama admits he attended socialist conferences, but buries that concession in the middle of plays, museums, Central Park, and other Big Apple cultural attractions. Funny, he never mentions Yankee Stadium or the Statue of Liberty.
Only in an Obama Nation could the lyrics of our National Anthem be “an abomination.” The Star-Spangled Banner calls us “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”
Those words inspire us all to action — to keep this Home of Freedom free.