by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
There was a time in our nation’s history when speaking ill of one’s country while overseas was shunned. There was a time when politicians made it a point to keep their negative comments about the President at home and tried to not criticize their fellow citizens while they were in foreign soil.
That time has long since past.
As best as I can tell, the turning point was the election of President Bill Clinton. While he worked with Sen. William Fulbright, Clinton became deeply involved in antiwar activism. By 1969, Clinton found himself in England shamefully organizing antiwar protests in London against his home country. Clinton’s opponents brought his activities to light during his first presidential run. The talk at the time was of the deplorable nature of an American who would go to a foreign country to air out America’s internal conversations and cast his country in a negative light.
For any other politician, Clinton’s conduct of foreign, antiwar activism would have been the death knell for a presidential bid, but it wasn’t for this saxophone-playing, shades-wearing, “cool” womanizing politician. Bill Clinton was untouchable, and his past indiscretions were not about to slow him down.
Those of us on the right looked at such disrespectful behavior with scorn and were distraught at the direction we foresaw the nation’s standards going.
Enter John Kerry. His rancid behavior was, in many ways, the obverse of Bill Clinton’s.
Kerry was a Vietnam veteran who came back to the United States and spoke ill about his fellow veterans claiming to have witnessed atrocities that he was not in a position to have seen. His commentaries were so unsubstantiated that Congressman Joe Wilson called it “one of the worst public slanders ever against the valor and character of the American military.”
Kerry, of course, lost his presidential bid, although it was likely due to his exaggerations of his military service rather than his performance before the senatorial committee in 1971.
Since that time, however, it has become acceptable for our nation’s leaders to speak ill of the United States while abroad, a behavior that was likely perfected by President Barack Hussein Obama during his apology tour and ongoing belittling of the country he purported to lead.
And there is no sign of this kind of disgraceful behavior stopping; the latest manifestation of it being the conduct of Kerry himself. On Tuesday, during his trip to Davos for the World Economic Summit, Kerry did not pass up any opportunities to speak ill of his country. When speaking of his President’s absence, Kerry falsely claimed that it was because the President did not care about those in attendance. (President Trump did attend last year’s meeting and was criticized for that, too.) In fact, it has been meticulously documented that the President canceled his trip to Davos because of the inappropriateness of his attendance in light of an ongoing government shutdown.
When analyzing President Trump’s reasons for withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, it was not good enough that Kerry should voice a policy disagreement with the President, rather he claimed that the President had lied about the agreement, what it did, and what it did not do.
And most egregiously, when asked what message he had for the President of the United States, Kerry simply said, “Resign.”
Clearly, Kerry’s conduct is revolting, but worse yet, the direction in which he, Bill Clinton, and (lest we should forget) Jane Fonda sent the etiquette of overseas political discourse has hurt and continues to damage our nation. There are certain observations that are best made within the ambit of our nation’s borders and not while away from home so that our enemies can capitalize on our discord.
For those who understand the necessity of upholding this standard, it is high time we demand a return to a reality where such demeaning behavior while in a foreign country is once again eschewed.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
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