Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Balkanization, Should We Really Be Worried?

For the last six years, we have heard that phrase about the "rule of law" so much that maybe Valerie Jarrett tripped over herself when she said "Obama needs to be ready to rule from day one," on Meet The Press.

Maybe. But the attitude that would lead one to use the word "rule" has been popping up frequently enough to convince me that this is more than a slip of the tongue.

Soon after the polls opened up in his favor, Obama began talking about compulsory national service and a "civilian national security force" that is just as strong and well funded as the military. I wonder what such a force would do on days when they don't have to attack the bad guys? They would probably do what other national police forces do in other parts of the world...enforce the rulers' wishes on walking around everyday people. For the United States, such a force would probably end up being the official enforcer of all things "PC." Given the selective enforcement of rules or wishes that would surely ensue, such a force would probably be seen as an occupation army in a certain southern segment of this country.

I strongly disagree with Rep. Paul Broun that these things along with Obama's "spread the wealth" comments represent a new Marxism or Nazism. Quite the opposite.

Instead of a strong sense of nationalism and the creation of a renewed world power, Obama is proposing a pull-back, a blaming of his own nation for the ills at home and abroad. No, the Obama movement lacks both the outward focus and hyper-nationalism found in both the Marxist and Nazi movements.

Instead we have a fracturing country never able to unite behind any single leader as the political poles seem to drift further apart. The renewed push for the fairness doctrine (or variants thereof) will be more about punishing the other side. More of the spite-filled politics intended to infuriate and divide.

I'm reminded of Joe Biden's instincts when it came to Iraq. He proposed splitting Iraq into three pieces in a plan that was the only thing that Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders agreed on in 2006. They hated the idea because they understood what a permanently fractured country looks like. It looks like the Balkans - divided in pieces and permanently hostile.

It is exactly this prospect of Balkanization in the United States that has the rest of the world so happy with this election. Most of the world believes that an outward focused, or interventionist, United States is a major problem. In many places the US is seen as a bigger problem than terrorism. Most public polling around the world confirms that unless you have recently been ruled by a communist dictator, you probably dislike the US...by a wide margin. The polling consistently indicates that the world roots for the underdog, even the underdog that brutally represses it's people. It is probably the same psychology that makes me hate the NY Yankees, even when they play the Kansas City Royals.

That Obama has not directly addressed the heightened concerns raised by the promises of our spiteful congressional leadership is a good reason to be worried. Obama does not need the powers of "the one" to unite the country, he only has to stop politics of division and the rest will take care of themselves.

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