I'm reading about the the Tea Party convention, and I see that Sarah Palin wore "a small pin with two flags — for Israel and the United States." Meanwhile, some tea partiers are concerned that maybe Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
If Obama was born in Kenya — and I don't think he was — it would have nothing to do with the reasons why the Constitution requires the President to be a natural-born citizen, which is that we need an extra-strong safeguard against a President with a secret allegiance to a foreign state.
Wearing a foreign country's flag is more troubling than the geographical location of one's (American) mother at the time she gave birth. Presumably, Palin's pin, showing the 2 flags together, is meant to symbolize the alliance between America and Israel, but it seems to put the 2 countries at the same level. I think she should wear the American flag alone.
Am I questioning Sarah Palin's patriotism? Sure! I want questions about patriotism asked of anyone who runs for President or who, like her, might run. I support the constitutional principle that we need to safeguard against the calamity of a President with a secret allegiance to a foreign power.
We should have delved into Barack Obama's background and questioned him far more back in 2008. And I don't mean the possibility of a technical disqualification from the presidency. Where his mother was at the time of his birth has very little to do with anything that really matters. I'm more concerned with his mother's lack of connection to America and what she may have conveyed to him as he was growing up than her global positioning on the day he was born. Why did she marry 2 non-Americans?
I'm concerned with all the things about him that suggest a lack of devotion to America. His father was not American. His stepfather was not American. He spent formative years living in Indonesia. In adulthood, he chose to attend a church that featured sermons that harshly criticized America. Some of the people he associated with were rabidly anti-American. Campaigning for President, he gave a big speech — and was hailed — in Berlin. He seemed to want a transnational image. He made statements apologizing for America and rejecting America's unique leadership in the world. He didn't wear a flag pin. There was an issue about whether he failed to salute the flag. Why didn't those things trouble us more?
But we voted. We made our big leap of faith. I voted for him too. He's running for reelection in 2012, one must assume. We should continue to look at these things and to add to the list. There's that bowing to foreign leaders, for example. We can look at what he's done and how well he's demonstrated his dedication to the United States. That's a continual process. But this birther business? This idea that he might be formally, technically disqualified? If it ever made any sense to go in that direction, it is now just plain too late. Look at the substance of how well he is serving American interests. He is earning or losing our trust every day, and it is absolutely right to talk about that.
And it is absolutely right to talk about the patriotism of anyone who would run for President.