Remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall with Obama as President
It is not really news that President Barack Obama is a little narcissistic. The only way he knows of being self-deprecating is by accentuating this, as seen in his speech at the Al Smith dinner last year. In a speech earlier this year on national security, he thought it made sense to see this through his life story, telling the audience of the uniqueness of his family situation, for the benefit of the nine Americans who hadn’t yet heard it, as if that gave him such a particular outlook.
I stand here today as someone whose own life was made possible by these documents. My father came to these shores in search of the promise that they offered. My mother made me rise before dawn to learn their truths when I lived as a child in a foreign land. My own American journey was paved by generations of citizens who gave meaning to those simple words — “to form a more perfect union.” I’ve studied the Constitution as a student, I’ve taught it as a teacher, I’ve been bound by it as a lawyer and a legislator. I took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief, and as a citizen, I know that we must never, ever, turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake.
But courtesy of The Bugle, I heard an example that may have topped this. In his message commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, being too busy to attend the ceremonies, President Obama described the truly remarkable aspect of the change in the world since 9 November 1989:
Few would have foreseen that day that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent.
So remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall is not about the political leaders of that time, or the many in civil society groups who had the courage to come together despite the real fear of oppression by their communist rulers. It is about him.
I understand that his speech writers are in awe of him, and that this worked during the campaign, but surely he could have had the humility to reword that particular sentence.