The America Rudy Giuliani Loves Doesn’t Exist

Mayor Giuliani (right) at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Image via Wikipedia

Mayor Giuliani (right) at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Image via Wikipedia

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani believes President Obama doesn’t love America. However, like most conservatives, Rudy Giuliani loves an America that doesn’t actually exist. Conservative Dream America has never done anything wrong, white people have never done anything wrong, Christians have never done anything wrong, and saying anything to the contrary means you don’t love America.

Giuliani made this statement during an event at “21” Wednesday, an event to which he was not initially invited. He stood in front of the microphone, and said:

I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.   

When President Obama correctly pointed out the harm perpetrated during the Crusades as an example of religious extremism, the right-wing went into full attack mode. Ignoring that the president called ISIS a death cult, conservative politicians and pundits railed against the inclusion of Christian extremism. Because to conservatives, only Muslims can be extremists, and only conservatives like Rudy Giuliani love America.

In his book Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Al Franken says liberals do love America; we just love it differently than conservatives:

They don’t get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America the way a four-year-old loves her mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does in wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world.

And that’s the difference. Liberals look back at the history of our country, and realize we have done some awful things. Ignoring those awful things doesn’t make them go away, nor does it mean they never happened. We have to acknowledge our failures in order to make certain we never repeat them. Conservatives look back at the history of our country, and, at least in Oklahoma, do everything in their power to make sure children only learn the “good” parts. This is inherently dangerous. In 1905, George Santayana wrote “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Conservatives, for the most part, prefer ignorance to truth, because the truth is hard.

Rudy Giuliani’s comments about President Obama are repeated by conservatives every day. But why? What is it about President Obama that has convinced them he doesn’t love America? Is it his business work with the government of Qatar, the country where Khalid Shaikh Mohammed took refuge in the 1990’s? No, wait, sorry, that was Giuliani. Could it be how, after 9/11, Obama lied about everything from his record on terrorism to the safety of first responders at Ground Zero? Nope, that was Giuliani. Did the New York Firefighters’ Union come out against Barack Obama during his first presidential campaign? No, that’s Giuliani again. Deputy New York fire chief Jim Riches made the following comment about Rudy Giuliani:

We don’t want him running on 9/11 or the bodies of all these dead people or my dead son saying that he did a great job that day.

From The Guardian:

Giuliani is running his campaign on the back of the largely favourable media he received at the time, with his leadership in New York contrasting with President George Bush’s hesitancy. But the firefighters and victims’ families complain that Giuliani failed to heed the warning of an attack on the World Trade Centre almost a decade earlier.

The firefighters also say the crews had poor radios and, as a result, some did not hear calls to evacuate the site.

Families accuse Giuliani of rushing the clear-up of Ground Zero, denying them the chance to exhaust the search for bodies. There is unease, too, that Giuliani is using 9/11 as a political platform.

In the aftermath of 9/11, many conservative politicians and pundits wrapped themselves in the flag, only to ignore the victims, their families, and the first responders. According to Jim Riches, and other firefighters and families, Giuliani was one of those conservatives. The same man who had the gall to stand up and say President Obama doesn’t love America.

Loving America means taking the good with the bad. Admitting that our government put Japanese-Americans in internment camps does not mean you don’t love America; it means you understand America isn’t perfect. President Obama recently designated the plot of land that was the site of the Honouliuli internment camp a national monument, an action that inspired conservative radio host Laura Ingraham to say:

Why would we want to make this a national monument? This should be bulldozed. I’m telling you-this always goes back to we’re a rotten country with a rotten past and get used to it. Get used to it and acknowledge it. Grind it into the faces of the American public. I don’t get this. If we’re going to go down this road, I think we should just really open up the gates for national monuments. Why don’t we…one of the national monuments could be… I don’t know…the Oprah house where they vacation in Hawaii, one of those Oprah Winfrey houses? Make that a national monument while they’re there. Oh, I see what people are saying. it’s in Hawaii, so it gives the president oh more opportunities to go to Hawaii on the taxpayer dime…

We’re not a rotten country. We have done rotten things. Just like that four-year-old, conservatives refuse to understand that accepting the good with the bad does not mean President Obama hates America, any more than the Japanese Cultural Center and the Japanese American Citizens League – both of whom have pushed for this designation – hate America. As Senator Mazie Hirono said, “My hope is that the site will be preserved and presented in such a way that people will get the sense of what it must’ve been like, and to also acknowledge that this dark period of our country’s history should never be repeated, but the stories need to be told.” 

The stories need to be told, in order to remember history. Telling the truth about our past is not unpatriotic. Lying about it is. Rudy Giuliani whitewashed his role in the aftermath of September 11 so much, New York firefighters came out against him in 2008. Is that patriotic? Almost every single conservative politician opposed the James Zadroga Bill, prompting Jon Stewart to give us one of the most amazing take downs in Daily Show history.

You want to accuse President Obama of not loving America, and call every liberal in the country unpatriotic? You better get that plank out your own eye before you go looking for the speck in someone else’s. Here’s the video of Jon Stewart’s brilliant commentary.

Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.


Facebook comments

  • Eg Kbbs

    Dumb question, are the same folks (such as Laura Ingram and by extension the rest of the conservative pundits) saying that the Japanese internment camps shouldn’t be treated as memorials

    Are they also against Auschwitz being a memorial ?

    • Charles Vincent

      I thought that remembering things like history No matter how embarrassing it was (Auschwitz et. al.) helped us recognize the worst parts of our past so we don’t repeat them….

      • Eg Kbbs

        Which is exactly my point. Ingram’s statement that we should plow down the concentration camps we built for those of Japanese heritage in America should be preserved. To do otherwise is to whitewash our history.

        Apparently Ingram and those in her circle not only don’t agree but sneer at the idea.

      • Charles Vincent

        Are any of the Japanese internment camps still standing?

      • Eg Kbbs

        Charles, do you really rely so heavily on others to do your reading for you ? And why do you think others should do your fact checking for you ?

        From the article: “President Obama recently designated the plot of land that was the site of the Honouliuli internment camp a national monument, ..”

      • Charles Vincent

        You made the claim not me the onus is on you to prove it. I merely asked the question. but nice try at ”

        Onus probandi
        – from Latin “onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat”
        the burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim, not on the
        person who denies (or questions the claim). It is a particular case of
        the “argumentum ad ignorantiam” fallacy, here the burden is shifted on
        the person defending against the assertion.”

      • Eg Kbbs

        Better spell it out with you. There are several ways of searching the web, such as google, where you could quickly verify the designation of the Honoliuli camp as well as its current condition.

        Likewise as simple search can locate the current conditions of other such camps.

  • Eg Kbbs

    Considering the iconic Leave it to Beaver, how many times did you see a firearm on that program (or even a verbal allusion to one) ? How often did June Cleaver have to take off her pearls and go to work ? How often did the Cleavers spank their children ? How many times was Beaver stopped and frisked ?

    So how are they they icon of what Guiliana calls the real america ? And does loving Leave it to Beaver mean you don’t love America ?

    • Charles Vincent

      So because leave it to beaver didn’t show firearms it isn’t Americana?

      What about raw hide or big valley, or the Andy Griffith show, jeebus you are narrow. If I had to guess I would say these shows promoted the best of our ideals which seems to be what Giuliani seemed to mean.

      • Eg Kbbs

        Promoting the best of our ideals is one thing. But to say they promote the best of our ideals but then argue against those same ideals is hypocrisy. To act based as if their sanitized view is so naive as to be lost from reality.

      • Eg Kbbs

        Oh, and as you mentioned Andy Griffith, not only did he not wear a gun but in several episodes he explained the rationale for not wearing one.

        And for the westerns, amazing how easy it was to see who the good guy and bad guy were – as opposed to the complexity of the world.

      • Charles Vincent

        Ignoratio elenchi.

        Circular logic

        I wasn’t addressing the title I was addressing your comment.

      • Eg Kbbs

        Interesting that you should say the context isn’t relevant. Couldn’t we get a better class of troll ?

      • Charles Vincent

        It was plainly obvious I was addressing your comment as I replied directly to you and your comment. Had I wanted to comment on the article I would have made an op and not commented directly to what some other poster had said.

      • Eg Kbbs

        I know from your past that you will tenaciously argue any troll point ad infinitum. But you say you were addressing my comment, I was speaking in context of the article.

        So again, your assertion that context is irrelevant shows your lack of reading comprehension.

      • Charles Vincent

        The context was you mentioning TV shows a context which I followed. Then you tried to back-peddle and mentioned the title of the article that’s a conflatory obfuscation on your part. Ideals even if they aren’t reality are what created this nation.

  • Avatar

    I know a parlance when I see one. Giuliani’s statements in past few years are fucking too close to saying either ni**er or c**n toward President Obama but he is too afraid to lose his relevance, he is too smart to avoid it yet he is too stupid to figure that there are plenty of people across the nation can easily able to see through his words. Giuliani is racist, period.

    • Victor Victoria

      I think you just said that word and you’re a racist. It’s obvious to everyone.

      • Avatar

        :-O I’m a racist? My family is strongly diversitied with African-American, Korean-American, Spanish-American, and Colombian-American and you call me a racist?