Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Junius: Letter to President Obama
To His Excellency, Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States
Dear Mr. President:
One need not subscribe to the wilder flights of fancy ventured by the American philosopher Lysander Spooner to see in his observation on the subject of mendacity in public officials a well-grounded truth: “Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it”. Indeed, perjury is the blueprint for the construction of the edifice of tyranny, the ultimate political lie which posits the moral and intellectual superiority of one man over the accumulated experience and wisdom of untold millions of his erstwhile fellows, living and dead.
In an age of vigorous individualism, marked by a universal regard for liberty and a general expectation of the consistent exercise of personal responsibility, men have no need for a self-proclaimed demigod, trumpeting his possession of a utopian gnosis, and declaring his own unique suitability for serving as a guide to the promised land. It is Your Excellency’s great good fortune, and our bitter fate, that you came to what now passes for manhood in the present epoch, a singularly pusillanimous, complacent and ignorant stretch of history in which freedom has largely become synonymous with the baser sorts of self-indulgence, and all responsibility – for our education, for our livelihoods, for our security, for our health, for our very lives – is seen as the province of the State, its expenses to be funded through the expropriation of the wealth of faceless “others”, a class from which an ominous and increasingly large number of people blithely exclude themselves.
But even though the independent spirit of the populace has become so thoroughly numbed, and the cognitive spark so widely dampened, nonetheless there survives, almost in spite of itself, a latent, yet powerful, hunger for reason and for truth - or, at the very least, a repugnance for the more obvious and demeaning insignia of servitude; so much so, in fact, that Your Excellency has found it expedient to coat the bolus of peonage that you would cram down our gullets with a confection of falsehoods intended to disguise the repellant taste. Thus do we witness the president of the most powerful nation on earth repeatedly claiming to be surprised by the legal and ethical infractions committed by the organs of his own government, many of whose chiefs he has, himself, appointed. Thus do we encounter the most extravagant prevarications in defense of legislation and programs which, in the plain light of factuality, are clearly indefensible. And thus do we see Your Excellency, conspiring with your mamelukes in both government and the Press, to erect towering fabrications in order to screen the tragic results of your staggering incompetence in the field of foreign policy.
Sir, your career is founded on folie de grandeur, a fantasy that has been nurtured and propounded by your ideological apostles, and grasped in misplaced confidence by the willfully blind, perennially in search of secular saviors. I am too advanced in years, and too thoroughly schooled in human nature, to have any false hopes concerning either your desire or your ability to abjure the path of falsehood; however, I am also too devout a Christian to presume that you are irretrievably and necessarily lost to honor, so I will leave you with the thoughts of a man for whom you have displayed ample, albeit inexplicable, signs of disdain, but from whom you might learn much if, even at this late date, you would leave a political legacy that does not become a hiss and a byword for future generations. The man is Winston Churchill, and he wrote the following: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
In the end, there it is. And in the end, Your Excellency, where will you be? Attending, however belatedly, at the altar of truth? Or wallowing in the ashes of your reputation, attempting futilely to stay warm in a world that has grown cold to your hubristic cant? I pray that you should choose with unaccustomed wisdom.