In April of this year I wrote a post entitled The Deuce On Power. It was about how conservatives represented by the Republican Party didn't understand power...how to get it, how to hang on to it when they had it, and how to effectively exercise it. I have been wanting to expand on the theory of power and Mr. Quarter's most recent post about Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals is the perfect intro.
Bold men exercise power...often more power than we will ever realize. Most of us are enthralled by the chutzpah of such men. Think about it. Xerxes; Leonidas; Alexander The Great; Julius Caesar; Moses; Charlemagne; Attila; Genghis Khan; William the Conqueror. Men from history to be sure, most of them celebrated in history and literature as great men who accomplished great things. Books are written about them, movies made of their lives, scholars study their beliefs, methods and foibles. In more modern times the bold men continue to amaze us, even when some of them were fundamentally evil in their pursuits. Washington; Adams; Jefferson; A. Jackson; Lincoln; T. Roosevelt; Lenin; Stalin; Mao; Castro; Churchill; F. Roosevelt; Kennedy and Reagan. For good or ill, there's something about men who exercise great power that is...captivating, that engenders in most people a sense of awe and a desire to follow them...wherever they're going.
Consider Alexander. You're still in your teens, your father the king as just been assassinated and you have assumed the kingship. You're sitting around the fire one night with your captains, drinking and wenching and realize that you're bored, and a thought occurs to you. You dare to speak it aloud. "Lets assemble our army and go out and conquer the world." Your men look at you pondering your idea, take a deep gulp of wine and say "Hell yeah!" You and them spend the next twenty years riding roughshod over every civilization you run across from Greece to India to Egypt. Untold thousands are butchered, untold hundreds of cities, towns and villages are razed. Untold tons of gold, jewels and other valuables are shipped back to Greece. The Greek manner of civilization is forcibly spread throughout most of the known world. And in his time, and ours, we call Alexander great. Most of us admire him. Truth be told, he was simply just another invader...another man with too much power and too much chutzpah. His only thoughts were to enrich himself, his people, to garner everlasting glory for himself, and it didn't matter one whit how many people died to make his desires come true. Modern beliefs such as human rights, the rule of law and sovereignty didn't even exist in Alexander's time...but chutzpah did. Guts, balls, nerve...whatever you want to call it, was in great supply and unchecked by any moral beliefs.
Of all the people who were simply living their lives as best as they could, up until the day Alexander's army came riding into view, how many do you suppose thought of Alexander as great? Clearly they thought death or enslavement had come calling and they ran for their lives...or they fought and died...or they bent their knees and accepted Alexander's rule and paid his taxes.
So what's the point? The point is this; bold men come in two kinds, good and evil, and the evil ones don't give a rat's ass what anybody else thinks. They don't care what anyone thinks of their ideas, their methods or their goals...they just go out and do it...if they can. And God help us, this type of men have a certain allure that captures the imaginations of far too many people, including Americans. Good bold men earn our everlasting respect and gratitude. Washington, Adams, Lincoln and Churchill to name a few. But bold men who are fundamentally good do not capture our attention these days nearly as much as the evil ones. In today's America, the man who will stop at nothing to achieve his ends is the man most admired...most desired...as long as he has good public relations.
Alexander has been dead for over 2000 years, but we still know who he was and what he did. There are still bold men who dream of being like Alexander...great men of power and wealth and fame. Their methods of achieving their goals may not include military invasion, but in the modern world military invasion is generally not required. All that is required is money, favorable media attention and a people unsure of their beliefs...unsure of what is right and what is wrong...a people who are more interested in "bread and circuses" than they are of being free...a people who desire to be relieved of the daily necessity of making their own way in the world.
To a much too large extent, America is made up of such people.
This explains the never ending stream of Hollywood actors, literary types, artists and fringe politicians who go to Cuba to bask in the glory of Fidel. They invariably come back to America wearing Che t-shirts with reports of what a brilliant man Castro is, how wondrous the Cuban culture is, how egalitarian its policies are. What they neglect to report is the abject poverty of the Cuban people, or the not so hidden desire of many Cubans to escape Castro's rule. You see communism, under such an enlightened dictator as Castro, is good for all...the height of human existence. Just ask Sean Penn, Maxine Waters or Michael Moore, experts all!
Barack Obama is such a bold man. He has parlayed his race, white guilt, oratory skills and the strategies of Saul Alinsky to vault from obscurity to the presidency in the blink of an eye. 53 million Americans voted for him in 2008, when if you had asked those people who Obama was just a few years earlier, very few would have had a clue. This fact alone smacks of the cult of personality...the cult of a bold man.
Obama is attempting to do what Mao did in China. He is working on multiple fronts to "fundamentally change" America...to "return America's wealth to it's rightful owners." He has continued the nationalization of some of Americ'a biggest banks ( started by the terribly misguided Bush II who so famously had to "destroy capitalism in order to save it") and most of the auto industry with his "bail outs; he is attempting to nationalize the health care industry by creating a public health insurance plan similar to Medicare that anyone could join ( and may ultimately be forced to join ), driving the private health insurance industry out of business by undercutting their premiums ( and of necessity rationing care ); his "cap and trade" plan would effectively nationalize the entire energy sector of the U.S. economy.
Obama's methods are quintessential Alinsky. Force opponents to play by their own rules while observing no rules of your own; marginalize opponents by portraying them as racists hatemongers who hate the poor and want to destroy the Earth; overwhelm the existing political and economic systems by creating the perception of crisis and then enacting emergency powers ( grabbing more power ) to deal with the resulting emergencies.
Genghis Khan had his Mongol hordes; Attila had his Huns; Caesar had his legions. Obama has ACORN, SEIU, MOVEON.org, Media Matters, the mainstream media and majorities in both houses of the U.S. Congress.
America has elected a bold man to the presidency. And this President just happens to be a communist. Will America follow this bold man?
We'll know in November, 2010, when America next casts its votes for congress. It will be the second most important election in American history. The most important will be the presidential election in 2012...when America either ratifies Obama's communist dream by reelecting him, or casts out him and his nightmare vision for America.