When I was seven years old and in the second grade, my family moved to Hampton Beach, NH. Dad was driving truck for Audley Construction on a highway project in the southern part of the state and was apparently making enough that we kept our house in Dorchester and rented an apartment near the beach. I can remember going out the morning after a storm and finding seaweed on our car.
One of the great joys of that year was, due to our proximity to Southern NH and Massachusetts, we had all kinds of television. This was in the days of antennas on the roof of the house. We could actually get all three networks, AND a couple UHF stations, with just the rabbit ears on the back of the set. Livin' large, y'all.
One of my favorite shows was a Japanese cartoon, early anime, called Astro Boy. Astro Boy was a robot made to look like a little kid who could do all sorts of wonderful things like fly and fight big, mean bad guys. I remember in particular one episode where he was commissioned to tackle a big problem by no less than . . . the President of Earth.
This is a widespread topic in the sci-fi world for a long time now. H. G. Wells wrote about a unified world government, as has Isaac Asimov. Star Trek, Babylon 5, Barbarella, Futurama, and story tellers high and low have used it in their predictions of Earth's future. Some would argue that the League of Nations and the United Nations were intended to be steps in that direction.
The reason I bring this up is that a lot of people are trying to figure out Barack Obama's policies, and especially his foreign policy. Many people feel he doesn't have one at all. Even many of his staunchest supporters either can't figure it out, or they just aren't saying what they really think. Others think he's a complete idiot who's simply way in over his head. The administration seems to be telling us that it's a nuanced strategy that we'll understand better down the road, which could be beaurocrat-speak for . . . well, just about anything.
But as I watch the news and see events unfolding, I can't help wondering if there actually is a core strategy after all. What if Barack Obama looks at illegal immigrants, ISIL, Putin, North Korea and China, not as threats, but as potential partners?
If you think about it, a unified world government could take one of two forms. One way was the way the Romans, the British, the Nazis, the Communists and the Huns tried; conquest. One ring to rule them all, blah blah blah. One state dominating the rest. Some, again, would say that the League of Nations and UN were the US's way of doing this. It could also be said that American industry is trying to do that on an economic level.
The other form would be that of a democratic republic. One in which every group of people were equally represented. A government in which any group with a grievance could get a fair and equitable hearing. One currency, a military that would act more as a police force, one executive branch, one legislature, one judiciary . . . and no borders. One postal service! One bureau to oversee agriculture, one educational system, one set of standards for transportation, to protect the environment, to oversee commerce, etc. etc. etc. Even a bureau to adjudicate grievances between religious groups.
You could frame this any way you like. Wells, Asimov, Roddenberry all saw it as a good thing. Aldous Huxley parodied it. Please don't imply a value judgement in what I'm saying, I'm just putting it out there as a possible idea. I'm not trying to argue for or against it, I'm just saying . . . what if that's the goal?
It's entirely possible that seven-year-old Barack Obama was watching Astro Boy, or something similar, and thought to himself - as many undoubtedly have - why not? And when? And how? So he goes into community organizing, and runs for Illinois State Senate, and then US Senate, gets a high-profile chance to be a keynote speaker at the Democratic National convention, and the next thing you know . . .
Now, I'm not suggesting that he's trying to make it happen during his presidency, or that he'd even expect it to be accomplished in his lifetime. But IF it's a legitimate goal, then aren't current events, and the administration's response to them, leaning us strongly in that direction? A day when there are no borders? When Shi'ia and Sunni, Protestant and Catholic, Muslim and Jew and Russian and Ukranian and Korean and Mexican and German and so forth and so on are living under one flag? Voting with one ballot? Spending one currency?
When I look at a politician, I listen carefully to what they say and watch carefully what they do. What I'm thinking about it, who's their real boss? Who are they helping? Whose help do they want the most? Who owns them? What's their goal?
There's one thing I can say for damned sure about every politician on the planet; they sure ain't trying to please me. They don't know me from a hole in the ground. I represent one vote. But there are people, and corporations, and organizations, that represent far, far more than one vote. The Supreme Court says that a corporation is a person? Like hell! It's thousands of people. And so is a union. And so is Al Sharpton, and the AARP, and the National Organization of Women, and any organization or group or person representing a large voting bloc.
The pharmaceutical companies can flex their muscle and make thousands of votes appear out of thin air. How? I have no idea, but they spend their money and the things they want to hear get said, and the next thing you know mysterious endorsements come out of the woodwork and thousands of people go to the polls and do the bidding of the pharmaceutical companies.
Same with the oil companies, and every other major industry. And, the same with any of dozens of special interest groups. Spin is generated that keeps a high emotional tone and on election day we march like a bunch of dumb sheep to save the planet, or create jobs, or meet a threat or blah blah blah. And the few who really benefit might, in a generous moment, thank us and then shovel on more fertilizer.
But what if somebody with actual ideals, goals and plans, decided to play that system for their own benefit?
Meet Skeletor. He's the arch enemy of He-Man, a particular favorite of my two sons, Alex and Tyler, when they were at the age I was when I discovered Astro Boy. He-Man was easily the most ridiculous super hero ever conceived. He was a big, strong muscle-beach type who . . . was good. That's it, just good. Never figured out quite why, he was just good.
And he protected Eternia, I remember that. From this other guy, Skeletor. He was . . . well, he was bad. That's all. He wasn't a dad, or a Republican, or even an advocate for the rights of blue people. He was just bad. He laughed at other people's pain and tried his darndest to defeat He-Man. Oddly enough, my sons adored Skeletor. He was much cooler than He-Man. I guess somebody like that just brings out the Skeletor in people.
This inane cartoon series sold a lot of action figures (NOT dolls!) for Mattel, who apparently had no political agenda. They'd sell you a Skeletor doll - er, Action Figure - just as quickly as they'd sell you a He-Man. They didn't even care if you made him kiss Barbie. Or Ken!
If you get your news from certain sources, you might come to wonder if Barack Obama was actually Skeletor with a makeover. Certain other sources would tell you no; that George W. Bush is Skeletor. They're bad. Just, simply, purely, bad. Evil. No reason, no ideas, no goals, just bad.
Personally, I'm skeptical. I don't think either of them are Skeletor. I actually liked Bush, and I think I understand what motivates Barack Obama. I even agree with him, to a certain extent. I think his methodology is deeply and fatally flawed, but if he's trying to do what I think he's trying to do, there's at least an argument in his favor.
Y'see, I believe, from a few years of observation, that President Obama has two core goals that he's trying to advance; the protection of the environment, and the unification of the world. These two goals are advanced more efficiently through the Democratic/liberal/progressive side of the political spectrum, so he's using that avenue.
I would agree that humanity needs to be better stewards of the world that God made for us to live in. I believe that we can make a significant impact on the environment, in spite of what many conservative commentators say. I know I've used this analogy before, but peeing in their swimming pools would certainly liven up the debate on the topic. On the other hand, I think most environmental legislation is flawed, but that's a debate for another day.
As for the other, I think that's rooted in the belief that power is best used when it's controlled by a governing body instead of left to the private sector. I personally believe that mankind is corrupt and fallen, and that power only adds to that corruption. Again, I've written other essays on this blog about that.
But I do not believe that Barack Obama is Skeltor, or Satan, or Hitler. I believe he is a well-meaning visionary who thinks he's doing what is best for everybody, now and in the long term future. I believe he thinks that in twenty or a hundred years his goals will become more apparent, and we will thank him.
And, I believe he's wrong.