President Obama addressed members of the military for the last time in December and gave his blessing for them to challenge the authority of President-elect Donald Trump freely.
Speaking at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, Obama told the soldiers about “the foundation that we will leave for the next administration.” That would include “each of us [having]…the universal right to speak your minds and to protest against authority; to live in a society that’s open and free; that can criticize our president without retribution.”
Obama’s speech included the idea that U.S. policy is to counter “violent extremism” in its many forms and the implication was that Trump’s plans might fall under that category:
“So rather than offer false promises that we can eliminate terrorism by dropping more bombs or deploying more and more troops or fencing ourselves off from the rest of the world, we have to take a long view of the terrorist threat. And we have to pursue a smart strategy that can be sustained. In the time remaining, let me just suggest what I think should guide this approach.”
Obama then laid out his scientific credentials citing how “a changing climate” contributes to a rise in terrorism by “increasing competition for food and water.” And just after assuring American citizens have a right to freedom of expression under the First Amendment, the president said perhaps there’s too much free speech because “impressionable minds” are targeted by “extremism” on the web. That’s why, he said, his administration has policies to block certain speech on social media.
And then he was on to criticizing the Second Amendment for allowing violent extremists to arm themselves:
“Somebody who is trying to kill and willing to be killed is dangerous, particularly when we live in a country where it’s very easy for that person to buy a very powerful weapon.”
And of course, Obama did everything he could to defend Islam from being associated with the terrorism that is gripping the world:
“We are fighting terrorists who claim to fight on behalf of Islam. But they do not speak for over a billion Muslims around the world, and they do not speak for American Muslims including many who wear the uniform of the United States of America’s military. If we stigmatize good patriotic Muslims, that just feeds the terrorists’ narrative. It fuels the same false grievances that they use to motivate people to kill. If we act like this is a war between the United States and Islam, we’re not only gonna lose more Americans to terrorist attacks, but we’ll also lose the sight of the very principles we claim to defend.”
Given his reluctance to call out a violent religion’s jihad on the West, his disdain for “certain” free speech and gun rights protected by our Constitution, and his encouragement to defy authority, is it a wonder so many question his love for our country?