Don’t bow to monarchs
Mike Potemra links to this guy and ultimately agrees with the point that Obama’s bow to Japan’s Emporer isn’t worth getting lathered up about and I think that is fair as far as that goes. The blogger, Mark Shea, while making a fair point, buries it in “cliched liberal straw man invective 101″, however. You know, we’re retards that spew, zombie like, whatever it was that Rush and Fox said the night before. And that any criticism of Obama is automatically worth ignoring since Bush launched wars and tortured people, yada yada. I’d be happy to debate the merits of the Bush doctrine, but it’d be nice if it wasn’t a pre-req for arguing health care, taxes, speaking highly of communist murderers, etc. You know, it’d be great if we could just argue the point at hand. If you are going to charge hypocracy, then make it relevant. Voting for a president who, rightly or wrongly, exercised his power as president is just not relevant to the discussion of what sort of protocol should be levied by the American president towards foreign monarchs.
So, on that note, can I state simply that if I were meeting the Japanese Emporer and I was carrying out the duties of some Dude with a keyboard, from America, in Japan on Dude-ish business and was representing only myself or perhaps my company (how awesome would that be, BTW) then I’d probably bow to said Emporer, or King, or Living Deity or whatever the title of the dude or dude-ette was. Yes, be humble and respect your hosts. BUT, is it really too much to ask that we remember our history and remember that the American President has the authority given to him by the American people. Our foreign counterparts have to understand that understand that Americans take great pride in our lack of a monarch. Its sort embedded in our political DNA. Many great arguments were fought over the idea of a United States King and we don’t have one with good damn reason. Again, we’re a government of the people. Bow to their elected leaders, if a bow is common protocol of respect. But not to monarchs.
Obama is not being humble for himself, but for US. State protocol cuts both ways and really, where did the rule come into play that only Americans must be humble. Sure, you may catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I get all that. Monarch’s get their legitamacy through birth, title and tradition. Sure, most foreign monarchs for allies are figureheads and the people in question (the Japanese, but the same can probably be said for any number of European citizens) probably view their monarchs as an integral part of their country. That’s fine. But, the president of the United States must remember, first and foremost, that America is what it is. We shouldn’t bow to monarchs.
Bonus Rambling: And just for the record, I was equally appalled by this act of our previous president. But, the writer at the link moonlights at Fox, so I guess I’m just entering zombie mode by linking. Of course, you’ll see that she wasn’t much a fan of the Bushes’ relationship with the Saudis either.
Extra Bonus Rambling: I’m only mildly irritated and really, I’m just about numb with our president’s desire to show that America isn’t particularly special. So, file this post under “sigh” instead of “rage.”