In 2012 we must make a big decision. Do we choose Socialism, do we choose to follow in the footsteps of our nation’s founders, or do we consider other options? Since there are over 300 million of us, and we will each make our own choice, we will probably choose a path that has no ideological purity. When tyrants do not rule, such is the nature of compromise.
Yet when old men look at where they are, they look back wondering how they got to that place. Then, even when they are soon to pass away, they look ahead. Therefore, Harold Estes wrote his letter, and I linked to it here and here (See PEARL HARBOR DAY).
When I linked to Estes letter, one commenter said that Estes grossly distorted our president’s words. Sadly, I do not think so. Yet the possibility is worth considering, and of course, somebody has. About.com has this article, Harold B. Estes Letter to Obama, for example. So let’s consider the matter here.
” We’re no longer a Christian nation”
About.com posts ‘The President Without a Country’ by Pat Boone. That links to The president without a country by Pat Boone. Oddly, if you google Boone’s op-ed, “The president without a country” pat boone, About.com’s and Snope.com’s (here) articles pop up at the top of the search list. Like as not, since Boone’s article appears to predate Estes letter, Estes got this line from Pat Boone’s article.
However, this article, Obama: America is ‘no longer Christian’, actually addresses the source of this first quote. So what is wrong with the quote. Some have left a few words out, supposedly with nefarious intent. Here is the “complete” quote from Obama’s inaugural address.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth. (from here)
Or perhaps it is from an interview with a Christian broadcaster.
Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. (from here)
Supposedly, that “not just” makes everything okay.
”America is arrogant”
MediaMatters blames this one on a certain talk show host, Hannity truncated Obama quote to claim it was an example of “blame America first”. What is funny is that Hannity plays the portion of Obama’s speech he “quotes.” The “quote” comes from this line in one of Obama’s apology tour speeches.
In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive. (from here and here)
”America is mean-spirited”
The quote comes from that time before Obama entered politics, when he was at Harvard.
“Hopefully, more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous,” Obama said. “I mean, I really hope to be part of a transformation of this country.” (from here)
Here is a different version.
“We’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous.” — May 1990, quoted in article while attending Harvard Law School (from here)
Of course, Michelle Obama shares similar views.
“America hasn’t lived up to her ideals”
With this “quote”, Estes apparently refers to another line in the Barack Obama apology tour.
And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. (from Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University in Egypt, June 4, 2009)
Did Harold Estes grossly distort Obama’s words? Well, if you want to nitpick, I suppose he did. However, when I read the letter, I did not take the quotes as literal. I understood Obama would not be so stupid as to say exactly those words. In fact, without the help of Liberal Democrats, I would never be able to figure out exactly which words Estes misquoted.
Obama in fact:
- Does not believe America is a Christian nation.
- Has gone on what most Conservatives regard as apology tours. If he is not apologizing for our “arrogance”, what is he doing?
- Is trying to transform our country and make it what he says is less mean-spirited.
- Has spent all kinds of effort blaming his predecessor for one thing or another. I think it safe to say Democrats did not think George W. Bush lived up to their ideals.
There is a deliberate effort by the Obama administration to transform our nation. ”Transform” is Barack Obama’s word for what he wants to do to America — to the American people. I can only speak for myself, but I do not think much of what Obama and Democratic Party wants America to become comports with Christian values. What Estes did is express his legitimate objections to Obama’s efforts to transform us. Nitpicking over “quotes” will not make those objections go away.
Of late, this year-old post has received a lot of traffic. It occurred to me wonder why. Reading the post again, I realized I had said nothing about Harold Estes. So I searched the Internet.
Hawaii Loses a Great Patriot – Harold B. Estes, U.S. Navy (ret.)
BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D. – Harold B. Estes and many of his peers are part of a generation that is known as “The Greatest Generation.” Estes, a World War II veteran credited with helping bring the USS Missouri and Bowfin museums to Hawaii, and who gained Internet fame with a letter written to President Barack Obama telling him to “shape up and start acting like an American,” died Tuesday May 17, 2011. (continued here)
Read the report on Estes death. If you like video, here is another, Memorial service honors veteran and Navy League organizer Harold Estes. The man was more than just that one letter he wrote.