President Barack Obama does not oppose the building of the Cordoba Mosque a few blocks down from the former site of the World Trade Center.
And this is why I support the man. When it counts, Barack Obama is a man of the Enlightenment. He is determined, as Thomas Jefferson was once determined, to build a nation of individuals. And he knows when that vision is most threatened.
In publicly rejecting the abominable idea that American Muslims bear collective guilt for 9-11, Barack Obama is demonstrating what it means to be an American president, and not a ridiculous and pathetic crack-pot Herderian volkish nationalist (as the Republican candidates for president—Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Tom Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich—are falling over themselves to try to demonstrate themselves to be on this issue).
By contrast, in speaking forcefully and directly in favor of letting Muslims build the Cordoba Mosque, President Obama is directing us to our nation’s moral compass: the Bill of Rights.
What a great man Barack Obama is. We are lucky to have him as president. He is pushing back against the drift of our politics into a profound moral darkness.
Below is what volkish Herderian nationalism looks like, and it ought to serve as a dramatic caution to our American Herderites: the Tea Partiers. This is an image of a Jewish synagogue gutted at the heart of Germany’s greatest city, Berlin. It’s destruction was part of the response of German fascists to the assassination of a German embassy attache in Paris. The embassy attache was murdered by a Polish Jew, and German Jews, for their “collective guilt,” suffered for it. It’s what a gesture of retribution for collective guilt looks like, and it’s what Republicans in our country are trying to drift our own national values toward.
If this mosque doesn’t get built, Herderite Tea Party “patriots” will swoon over their “Christian” nationalist victory. Likewise, if it does get built, expect to see some of those very same Herderite Tea Party “patriots” try to deface it or even bring it down in their own act of terrorism. This is the logic of collectivist and volkish blood and soil nationalists and religious fanatics.
And against them stands an American president: a man sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. His name is Barack Obama. Are you with him?