Opinion / Chen Weihua

Turning a blind eye to faults is not love

By Chen Weihua (China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-27 09:06

Turning a blind eye to faults is not love

US President Barack Obama (R) participates in the taping of an MSNBC/Telemundo town hall discussion on immigration with host Jose Diaz-Balart (L) at Florida International University in Miami, February 25, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

People in the United States have been engaging in a debate of whether President Barack Obama loves America. It was a debate triggered by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who claimed on Feb 18 that "I do not believe the president loves America."

It's a conversation that probably no other country would conduct. You do not hear the British questioning if David Cameron loves the United Kingdom or Germans asking if Angela Merkel loves Germany.

Ironically, it is a debate that has arisen after Obama has served as president for more than six years. What seems more absurd is the latest survey conducted on Feb 22 and 23 by the polling company Rasmussen Reports, which found that 35 percent of likely US voters agree with Giuliani's statement.

Unlike those in many countries, US politicians never forget to eulogize their country in their public speeches, such as by saying that the US is the greatest country ever in human history, as if this is the best and only way to prove that they love their country.

Whenever I heard such a statement in the past two years, it reminded me of the character Will McAvoy in the 2012 TV series Newsroom. A TV anchor, he certainly does not love America using Giuliani's criteria because Will said loud and clear that the US is not the greatest country in the world.

For those who haven't watched the 25-episode series, here is a brief recount of Will's answer. "There is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. We're 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined..."

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