The president of the United States is both head of government and head of state, unlike parliamentary systems where those offices are held by separate individuals. In the UK as an example, the prime minister as head of government is in charge of administering the affairs of government; the queen is head of state who, theoretically, does not actually rule or interfere with government and politics. But as head of state, she is the symbolic and ceremonial representative of the entire country.
So what does it say about a head of state who bashes his own country and people before foreigners? Whatever your age, do you remember an American president who had criticized Americans to foreigners?
Obama began his presidency with an “apologizing for America” world tour, an example of which was what he said to a crowd of some 2,000 French and German students on April 3, 2009, in Strasbourg, France, in which he called America arrogant, “dismissive” and “derisive” of Europe. You can hear and see for yourself by watching the news video on the Telegraph site (click here). Obama said:
“In America, there is 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.”
The Telegraph‘s Toby Harnden observed at the time that Obama’s remarks in Strasbourg “went further than any United States president in history in criticising his own country’s action while standing on foreign soil.”
But what Obama recently said in an interview with the UK’s British Broadcasting Center (BBC) on July 24, 2015, ahead of his trip to East Africa, went beyond apologizing for America’s past deeds to bashing the American people today.
In an interview that ranged across international politics and foreign policy to domestic (within the U.S.) affairs, this is what a sitting American president said to a foreign media (from the BBC’s transcript of the interview).
BBC reporter Jon Sopel asked Obama about his “legacy” and “unfinished business.” Obama began, ominously, by rejecting Sopel’s characterization of him as a lame-duck “dead man walking” president in his last term of office. Instead Obama said he still has “a pretty long list” of things he wants to do. Top on his to-do list is gun control. Obama said:
“the issue of guns…is an area where if you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense, gun-safety laws. Even in the face of repeated mass killings.
And you know, if you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands. And for us not to be able to resolve that issue has been something that is distressing. But it is not something that I intend to stop working on in the remaining 18 months.“
Yes, you got it right: the President of the United States of America just called all Americans who believe in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution lacking in “common sense.”
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “common sense” as “the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way.” The legal dictionary further defines “common sense” with the following synonyms:
acumen, astuteness, balanced judgment, calmness, clear thinking, composure, experienced view, good judgment, good sense, intuition, judgment, level-headedness, logic, mental poise, native reason, natural sagacity, ordinary judgment, ordinary sense, plain sense, plausibility, practical discernment, practical knowledge, practicality, presence of mind, prudence, rational faculty, rationality, reason, resourcefulness, sagacity, sapience, savoir faire, sensibleness, sobriety, solidity, sound sense, sound understanding, unbiased impulse, understanding, unemotional consideration, worldly wisdom
All of which means that to Obama, who is president of all Americans, millions of Americans are muddled in their thinking, over emotional, impractical, imprudent, unreasonable, unwise, senseless, illogical, biased, and just plain irrational. The thesaurus tells us that another word or synonym for “irrational” is crazy.
H/t FOTM’s maziel and Sean Gibbons of Punching Bag Media.