Apologizing for America
Much has been written regarding the vice presidential debate, from Joe Biden's clownish antics to misrepresentations of facts and figures. Considerable coverage has been devoted to Martha Raddatz and her obvious bias against Paul Ryan.
There was one particular aspect of the debate that most caught my attention, and seemingly (for obvious reasons) caught Paul Ryan off-guard.
"Do you think that we should apologize for pissing on Taliban soldiers, and burning Qu'rans?"
Apparently, Ms Raddatz equates abusing the corpses of Taliban soldiers and burning Qu'ran's with our Presidents' apologizing for America's military presence around the globe, for our history in dealing with other countries, and for the economic advances that our country has made, presumably on the backs of other nations.
Her question was intended to suggest that conservatives don't oppose individual acts unbecoming of our soldiers and our principles. But what Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and conservatives in general have denounced is Obama's apologizing for America in general, not for indefensible acts, universally decried. Whether in Cairo, at the UN, or on his trips abroad, President Obama has apologized, not so much for individual actions, but for the idea of America.
Following the Libya consulate attack and the killing of our ambassador and three other US personnel, President Obama's first reaction was to blame... the First Amendment. For almost four weeks he continued to characterize the attack as arising from protests against a cheaply-made Youtube video (In contradiction to testimony from the State Department that they knew almost immediately that there was no 'protest,' and that the attack had been carefully planned and coordinated). In fact, Obama's focus on the video may have drawn further attention to it, and played a part in triggering many of the subsequent attacks on embassies across the Middle East region.
As nations struggle to establish themselves, we understand as a Western-style constitutional democracy that our greatest support will come from asserting our values and providing an example of what it truly means to be free.
Martha Raddatz and the left as a whole don't see the distinction between apologizing for "bad acts" and bad actors and apologizing for the idea of America and our Foundational principles.
The idea of America has served our nation since its inception. Our values have been tested throughout our history, and have proven to be impregnable to external pressures. Our greatest risk, and one well understood by our Founders, is the abandonment of our values at home.