Aliens much more influential than I am - Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Muammar Qaddafi and Vladimir Putin, to name but three - have already weighed in favor of Senator Obama. They seem to have been successful, from what I can read of the polls. It is the least that I can do to try and redress the balance.
I am not as impressed by Senator Obama’s character as many of you seem to be. He is undoubtedly clever and personable; he has personal charm, a silver tongue, and he resists pressure with grace. But what are these qualities worth, when not accompanied with a core of sincerely held principles and beliefs? Many of you have told me that, even though the Senator’s background is firmly anchored in the radical Left, his adaptability and political skills will prevent him from becoming a radical President. In other words, you yourselves are admitting that you do no believe - and more importantly, that you do not hope - that Senator Obama holds any principles.
If you are right - and I think you are - his charm is nothing more than the slick pleasantness of impostors and snake-oil merchants. Indeed, Obama reminds me of nobody more than of Frank Abagnale, the genius fraudster played by Leonardo di Caprio in Catch me if you can. Like Abagnale, Obama has been constantly changing identities - from Marxist rabble-rouser to dignified centrist, from ruthless Chicago pol to unifier of the nation, from race-baiter to post-racial Messiah, from wealth-spreader to tax-cutter and back. He is playing “Catch me if you can” with America. He seems close to win.
I am not convinced, however, that a President Obama would refrain from radical domestic politics. Like all great impostors, Senator Obama wants to be loved before anything else. He wants to be the Great Unifier: guess how he can achieve this when the two houses of Congress are in liberal Democratic hands? He will not risk criticism from the ones whose praise he craves; he will let Congress take control of the agenda. This, after all, is the only way to maintain his daily diet of melodious paeans praising his wisdom. And of course, “unifying” the liberal Left with itself should not be too painful for a man of Obama’s background.
It is in foreign affairs, however, that an Obama presidency would be most frightening. While a friendly impostor wants love, America’s competitors and enemies want power. Opening dialogue with America’s enemies, letting American policy be influenced by European and other competitors, would certainly bring Obama the global admiration that he is eager to lap up. If he reduces U.S military expenditures, as he has promised before, there will be hymns to his person and ecstasy will surround his name.
Senator Obama may think it a small and inconsequential matter that these hymns will be sung by those who want to see America weakened and her allies abandoned to the wolves. But I, a citizen of Europe, whose defense is entirely dependent on the U.S military, do not feel so comfortable about the idea.
As American power recedes to satisfy the narcissistic needs of one man for love and praise, American allies in Europe, Israel and Asia will feel the heavy breath of competing powers - Russia, Iran and China, to name but three - closer and closer to their necks. Some of us will become the direct targets of their ambitions or madness, while the others will need to accommodate the theocracies and thugocracies even more than they do now. This has happened before - first when the United States reduced its global ambitions during the Great Depression, then in the Seventies when you last elected a President who cared for global approval more than for American strength. The world should know by now that when America recedes, the powers that replace her are not necessarily an improvement.