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In Franz Kafka’s famous story, “The Metamorphosis,” Gregor Samsa awakes to find himself transformed into a huge insect. It is one of those tragedies in which an individual suddenly loses his human qualities. More recently we have witnessed a new horror: the ongoing progress of an unfeeling hive mind, politically correct in every way, as it blots out the individual. These two horrors, of course, are one and the same because each has to do with a process of dehumanization.

Look around at our country. Creepy crawlies are tunneling beneath the foundations of the Republic, undermining its foundations. In this context, Kafka’s metaphor might be used to depict something more far-reaching than the dehumanization of a single individual. It seems that millions of one-time human beings have adopted a collectivist, insect-like view. From this perspective Gregor Samsa might be seen as a mere precursor — a scout sent in advance of a much larger invasion.

And who can deny what has happened in recent years?

Insects resembling Gregor Samsa have taken over the U.S. government. Giant cockroaches of the China Lobbyist type (cousins of the 1970s Kissinger variety) have infested the National Security Council. And aside from cockroaches, the State Department “crawls” with Albright grubs and Halperin termites. By comparison the pestiferous Lippo Group’s brief penetration of the Commerce Department was a mere fly on the wall. And the Energy Department’s refusal to fumigate is thoroughly in keeping with a White House refusal to do the same.

Annoying as ever, the wetland mosquitoes of the Environmental Protection Agency are eager to draw fresh blood in the event of an Al Gore presidency. And every envious tarantula applauds the conversion of our Justice Department into a hall of cobwebs — which has recently entangled the software world’s biggest promoter of bugs, Mr. Bill Gates.

It is now agreed, of course, that the ever-thirsty minions of the welfare fever swamps have subsided. But when the next recession begins, these insects will multiply like crazy, returning to the attack with a vengeance. And don’t imagine you’ve seen the last of the flame-seeking Bimbo moths that flutter at brief intervals in the president’s vicinity. The so-called “Monica Butterfly” was not the first, nor will it be the last, to find itself drawn into the limelight.

As the November elections offer new hope for the future, many Americans are anticipating the day when our Arkansas stink bugs are driven back under the rocks from which they’ve crawled. But some are fearful, worried about reports of a giant queen’s nest beneath New York with larva stashed in secret tunnels. Drones scurry to and fro to assure the queen’s continued empire, but some of us doubt her procreative powers.

Of course, the Arkansas bugs have survived every attempt at pest control. For those who follow the seasonal migrations to and from Washington, this Arkansas infestation has been the worst in U.S. history. It’s as if the Pseudo-Arachnids of Robert A. Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” landed in Arkansas, dug themselves into the local terrain and tunneled their way east to Washington, D.C.

In Heinlein’s novel, Mr. Rico and his space marines fried the bugs with heavy weapons, and sometimes nuked them for good measure. But what do you do when they’ve tunneled into the foundations of the republic, hollowing out the military itself?

“The bugs are not like us,” explained Heinlein, writing in 1959. “They are arthropods who happen to look like a madman’s conception of a giant intelligent spider, but their organization … is more like that of … termites.”

By now it should be obvious that insects are perfect communists. Therefore, we ought to remember that the Pseudo-Arachnids of the Clinton administration have something in common with Russia’s troublesome insects — the Bolsheviks. Or was it mere silliness, many years ago, when P.J. O’Rourke suggested that the world’s insects be given a seat at the U.N. where they might vote with the communist bloc?

And is it any wonder that Friedrich Nietzsche, in this context, once identified the left with creepy crawlies? Or that he likened modern socialists to “tarantulas,” saying that those who preached equality lived for revenge amid a “den of lies”?

Where they bite, wrote Nietzsche, “there arises a black scab.”

It is no accident that the left reviles the United States and its Republican traditions. After all, what country is more enviable? What country has been blessed with so much greatness, freedom and prosperity? It is obvious why our modern tarantulas harbor a special hatred for the country. It is obvious why they have undermined the nation’s defense.

Nietzsche wrote that the tarantula’s quest for equality is nothing but a “tyrant-frenzy” disguised as virtue. Behind it is a suppressed envy that wants revenge. Nietzsche warned us that “out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound.”

Kafka described the pathetic fate of Gregor Samsa, a man who became a giant cockroach. Let us not permit a similar fate to befall our country. Let history record that the cockroaches were removed from power in Washington, D.C. For just as Samsa could not survive for long in a cockroach body, our republic will not long survive with a cockroach for a head.

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