What’s it going to take, America, for us collectively to wake up and see the obvious – that we’re being taken off the rails by a mad conductor?
This is the 50th anniversary of the film “Doctor Strangelove.” Ironic, if not prescient. This frighteningly successful film depicts a U.S. government and military buying into false information and launching a devastating atomic attack on Russia, in what is intended to be a first strike deterrent of a suspected attack, which proved early to be inaccurate. But in the end, all attempts to recall or stop the atomic attack failed, and the film ends with crazed Colonel “King” Kong straddling the bomb as it falls from the bomb bay and hurtles toward the catastrophic explosion and the pollution of the whole earth’s atmosphere.
Fantastic fiction? Sure. Couldn’t happen in today’s world? Not so sure.
There’s a different scenario unfolding in this country we love, right before our eyes, and we’re reading about it in the daily papers and seeing it on the nightly news broadcasts. What if our elected leadership had decided America no longer deserved to be leader of the free world, should have its military and its programs reduced to ineffectual status, our vibrant economy bankrupted, and that our republic should be “fundamentally transformed” into a virtual socialist, if not outright communist, society?
What if the elected president and his attorney general, both sworn to defend the Constitution and the security of the United States, decided – even made public statements – that they would not defend the laws concerning our borders and a mass invasion by illegal aliens, including near certain terrorists with plans for future 9/11 style attacks in our own cities?
Even crazier than “Doctor Strangelove,” right? Couldn’t happen?
But wait. Are you old enough to remember the name Willie Horton?
In one of the more dramatic episodes in America’s electoral history, a hardened murderous criminal named Willie Horton upended the presidential campaign of a successful two-time governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis.
Running against George H.W. Bush in 1988, the governor was seen as a genuinely nice and able man, if not somewhat naïve in foreign policy and quite liberal in social affairs. In fact, because he was so opposed to the death penalty, even for heinous crimes, in his first term he commuted the sentences of 21 first-degree murderers and 23 second-degree killers! Even after this became widely known, the general public had a favorable opinion of him and what kind of president he might be. Another nice man named John Kerry was his lieutenant governor.
And then came Willie Horton. In 1974, he had robbed a 17-year-old gas station attendant, then fatally stabbed him 19 times before dumping his body in a trash can, where he bled to death.
Later, Gov. Dukakis ignored the ruling of the court, which decreed no possibility of parole, and had Horton “furloughed” on weekends. In 1987, Willie failed to return from his furlough and was found to have twice raped a local woman after pistol whipping, knifing, binding and gagging her young fiancé. Eventually he was shot and arrested and sent back to prison to serve two life terms, but still no death penalty.
When all this became known, it was a serious campaign issue. In October 1988, in a presidential debate, Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis: “If your own wife, Kitty, were raped and murdered, would you then favor a death penalty for the murderer?” Taken back by the question, Dukakis said he’d always opposed the penalty … and still would.
His poll ratings dropped overnight from 49 to 42 percent, and he was defeated. The American people had taken the measure of the man who wanted to lead this country and decided he didn’t have the backbone or strength to defend us.
Now look at where we are today and what our current president has been up to, right in our faces.
Almost nightly, we’re seeing the faces of five known murderers who were “traded” for the alleged American army deserter Bowe Bergdahl. Without so much as a phone call to Congress, the president made the trade, sending the killers back to the Mideast and hailing Bergdahl, in a hastily called appearance with his parents at the White House, as a dedicated soldier and hero. “We don’t leave our own behind,” he declared – while the five murderers were winging back to the Mideast for some R ‘n’ R and a return to the battlefield.
Since then, supposedly to honor his promise to “close Guantanamo,” he’s unilaterally and personally releasing more and more hardened anti-American prisoners, sending them all expenses paid back to Yemen, the hotbed and training grounds for America’s most virulent enemies!
I’m not making this up, and it’s not a Stanley Kubrick screenplay. It’s the “man with the phone and pen” using his “executive authority” with abandon and disdain for Congress, the Constitution and his own oath to defend our country.
In his State of the Union message, still echoing in our ears, he stated that emptying Guantanamo of all these poor prisoners of war would “save us a lot of money”!
And when his press secretary was notified of reports that one of the five murderers traded for Bergdahl had already rejoined the Taliban and was “back in action,” and he was asked if this might change Obama’s policy, the reply was “No, because keeping Gitmo open is ‘a danger to our national security‘”! So, in the president’s view, keeping known terrorists behind bars is more dangerous to us than letting them go and return to their terrorism! And, “it’s expensive.”
Will this develop into his larger plan for criminal justice and American security?
Will he just sovereignly declare, like a 21st century “Doctor Strangelove,” that while he raises our national debt to over $18 trillion, we can “save money” by emptying and shutting down all our prisons and just let all the offenders be released back into society? He and his administration are already doing that – deporting criminal illegal aliens, and then allowing them to come right back in to commit more crimes. And so far, Congress seems befuddled about what to do.
So hey, it’s “good politics,” and he’s six years into a two-term presidency – so why should he not do whatever he wants to do?
Not even Stanley Kubrick could have written a fantasy like this. Will it be recorded in a future foreign film entitled “The Late Great United States of America”?