Take A Bow, Mr. President
In recent months, President Obama has come under attack for observing the customs of the countries he has visited, including bowing to world leaders. The biggest tantrum came when Obama bowed to Japan’s Emperor Akihito in a show of respect – one leader to another. Last time I checked, Japan was one of our strongest allies.
But the Right acted as though President Obama had just given up the nuclear codes to Hugo Chavez. This pathological ethnocentric behavior is a hallmark of the Right, who are never Wrong. This tizzy over bowing is just more pissant criticism a la mustard on a hamburger.
This is the same crowd who confuses acting tough with being tough; who equates patriotism with wearing a flag pin or chanting “USA! USA!”; and who seems to base their entire foreign policy on the show “24.” This is the same crowd whose own sense of patriotism seems to be not so much love of country as just disdain for all other cultures. This is the same sort of mindless nationalism that gets countries into trouble every time. They’re so afraid of appearing weak in another’s eyes. The Right, it seems, has a terminal case of Irritable Bow Syndrome.
True weakness, however, is never admitting a mistake or righting a wrong. After 9/11 we had the goodwill of the whole world, which George W. Bush completely squandered on a Crusade for blood and treasure. As a result of the go it alone cowboy diplomacy of Bush/Cheney, we were left with virtually only one ally: The Honorary Halliburton Employee Of The Month, Tony Blair… and about 10 guys from Poland.
One of the loudest chickenhawks to flap his feathers at this bowing incident in Japan was none other than Dick Cheney. What does Dick Cheney have against bowing anyway? He bowed out of Vietnam.
Does it bother me that my president bows to another leader? No. What really bothers me is when my president invades another country under a false pretense, declares victory in the first quarter, violates our ideals by torturing our enemies, etc. etc. Guess I’m Old School.
Thank you President Obama for restoring our global image. We’re glad to have rejoined the civilized world again by taking the high ground and not torturing our enemies or the English language. Now we work with our allies and we talk to our enemies.
Finally let’s put this whole bowing business in its proper historical context with a little slide show:
What was President Obama supposed to do with Emperor Akihito…throw up on him?
Take a bow, Mr. President, we’ve got your back. Sane America wants you to succeed.