Archive for April, 2010

Manchuria or Peoria?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Presidents of the United States are arguably the most powerful individuals on Earth, not only now, but ever. On the other hand, their actions are perforce contained within a comparatively narrow band of policy boundaries. Caught between the multiple Charybdis’s and Kharybdis’s of the U.S. Congress, public opinion, world opinion, physical and civil reality, and Wall Street, among others, Presidents are limited in the exercise of their relatively awesome poower.

The policy difference gap between a Manchurian candidate President whose goal is the destruction of the United States of America, and a President whose desire it is to make the greatest nation on Earth even greater, is not all that wide. There is only so much a U.S. President can get away with, in any direction, regardless of his or her motives. The Founders purposely constructed the executive, and other branches of our government, to be so constrained.

If we really ever were to have a President who secretly hated this country and wished to destroy it from within (just for the sake of argument, for example, a multi-racial man, carefully positioned to appeal to a majority of the nation’s demographic and interest groups, with a vague resume and equally vague policy proposals), the danger would not necessarily be all that obvious.

What might be the policies of a devious, fifth column, POTUS? Maybe distancing the United States from our closest allies, Britain, Israel, India, France, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Possibly reaching out to our worst enemies, Iran, North Korea, and the radical Islamic world?

Perhaps creating an unsustainable national debt by shoveling borrowed money to public employee unions and his party’s other constituents. Then ensuring unsustainability by putting in place a huge new entitlement program? Nationalizing (in all but name) the domestic automobile, banking, and health care industries? Stopping work on the fence on our Southern border?

Such policies may not be good for the country. They may be unpopular. But they stop well short of schemes to unilaterally give up all of our nuclear weapons, withdraw all troops and aid from Israel, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and abolish the free market altogether, radical policies that even Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid might not stand for, and which would be far too unpopular to be practicable.

No, the path for the Manchurian candidate would be to push the destroy America strategy right up against the asymptote of popular outrage. Take it as far as you possibly can before the overwhelming Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate begin to buckle as they see their reelection prospects recede into the distance.

That’s the best you could do in the service of your revolutionary ideals.

I’m just sayin’.

I wonder, you decide.