With his attempt to exploit the crisis in North Africa and the tragic death of the American ambassador to Libya for his own political benefit, Mitt Romney marked a new low in his campaign. The claim that the president of the United States ”sympathized with the attackers” is simply outrageous.
It is also a sadly familiar refrain that echoes Sarah Palin’s infamous “friend of the terrorists” and “death panel” charges in 2008 and picks up on the brazen appeals to fear, xenophobia and bigotry by the “birthers” and the propaganda film 2016: Obama’s America.
It doubtless is easier to accuse people with whom one disagrees of being “alien,” “unpatriotic” or “un-American” than to address a highly complex and sensitive international situation with udicious analysis and reasoned debate.
Why, moreover, do some always seem to think that it is more “patriotic” to advocate carpet bombing and institutionalized torture than to call for calm, mutual respect and dialogue? I submit that one does not lead by pointing a finger at the president when our diplomats are killed in service to our country. Nor does one further the cause of democracy either at home or abroad by fostering feelings of insecurity and resentment.