By Patrick Appel
A reader writes:
I wanted to point out the full quote.
NYT: “I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before,” Mr. Obama said, “not as a candidate for president but as a citizen a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.”
So Obama prefaced the remark with "proud citizen of the United States" but that gets dropping in the GOP talking point. Note that "citizen of the world" isn't some new age Obama-thing. It dates back to Thomas Paine and originates with Diogenes.
Thomas Paine, speech opposing the execution of Louis XVI: "I was present at the time of the flight or abdication of Louis XVI., when he was taken and brought back. The proposal of restoring to him the supreme power struck me with amazement ; and although at that time I was not a citizen, yet as a citizen of the world, I employed all the efforts that depended on me to prevent it."
Wikipedia, "Diogenes is credited with the first known use of the word "cosmopolitan". When he was asked where he came from, he replied, "I am a citizen of the world (cosmopolites)".
There is a two thousand year old human tradition of humane pragmatism that that involves being a "citizen of the world". I don't have a problem with JFK saying he's a Berliner or Le Monde saying "Nous sommes tous Americains" after 9/11/01 or Bono saying "I am an American" in the Superdome after Katrina. I'm pretty sure a governing majority of Americans don't have a problem with it either.
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