Most people who read thrillers or go to the movies have heard of Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy’s fictional hero. We met him in “The Hunt for Red October,” where he is instrumental in obtaining a Soviet submarine. In “Patriot Games,” he saves Prince Charles and Princess Diana from assassination. In “The Cardinal of the Kremlin,” he engineers the defection of the head of the KGB.
Further adventures bring Jack Ryan to the vice presidency, where he takes over for a man forced to resign because of a scandal. But at that moment, a terrorist crashes an airliner into the Capitol, wiping out the president and much of the government. Note that this book, “Debt of Honor,” appeared in 1995, well before 9/11. Jack Ryan takes charge in a desperate situation. In “Executive Orders,” he sees us through a terrorist attack using Ebola virus and arranges the death of the chief terrorist.
The problem is that what makes for thrilling fiction is, in reality, a series of unlikely events that taken together become virtually impossible. Politics has been described as the art of the possible. Jack Ryan made an outstanding president, but only in the fictional world of Tom Clancy. In reality, attempts to string together a series of unlikely events are doomed to failure.
Barack Obama is attempting to string together a series of unlikely events. But unlike Tom Clancy, he is doing so not in a novel, but in a nation:
● Obama belittles Americans who “cling to guns or religion,” and then expects people to see him as a uniter rather than as a divider.
● Obama tells Americans that their nation is not exceptional, and then expects Americans to act exceptionally to overcome the recession and build a new prosperity.
● Obama believes that America has a shameful history of imperialism, and then expects Americans to risk death and disability fighting for the freedom of Afghanistan.
● Obama heaps a mass of oppressive environmental and economic regulations on the backs of business people, and then expects them to overcome the worst recession since the Great Depression.
● Obama creates an atmosphere of uncertainty over ObamaCare and other burdens that may be imposed on businesses, and then expects them to hire millions of new employees as if the future looked bright.
● Obama plans to increase taxes on dividends and capital gains, and then expects those who depend on pension funds or retirement accounts to sleep soundly.
● Obama expresses hostility to private enterprise, and then expects investors to risk their money as if the outlook were encouraging.
● Obama creates a mountain of debt of astronomical proportions, and then expects the financial system to move forward as if nothing were holding it back.
● Obama foists this debt on our children and grandchildren, and then expects young people to regard him as their benefactor.
● Obama proposes to cut our defenses drastically and bows to foreign leaders, and then expects our allies to continue trusting us and our enemies to continue fearing us.
Expecting that the unlikely will happen is unreasonable. Expecting that the virtually impossible will happen is preposterous.
Constructing a series of unlikely events made Tom Clancy an outstanding author of fiction. Attempting to construct a series of unlikely events made Barack Obama a failed leader of a formerly great nation. In order to make it great again, we must elect leaders who will undo the measures that are strangling our economy, undermining our foreign policy, and weakening our national defense.
As a proponent of “leading from behind,” Barack Obama could be described as the anti-Jack Ryan. One might object that it is wrong to compare a real person with a fictional one. But everyone knows that Jack Ryan is fictional. What part of Barack Obama is real, and what part is a fabrication of those behind the scenes who groomed him for office? What part is genuine, and what part is a Hollywood set constructed by a captive media?
“Birthers” suspect that Obama was born in Kenya, and his American identity is a fabrication. But it seems more likely that Obama was born in Hawaii, and his Kenyan identity is a fabrication. Why else does he refuse to release his transcripts from university and law school?
Suppose his grades were mediocre – so what? He could boast that he overcame obstacles to reach the highest office in the land. But suppose he received foreign-student scholarships. This would mean either (a) that he was born abroad and is not eligible to be president, or (b) that he was born here and obtained the scholarships by fraud.
The point is not whether one of these possibilities is correct. The point is that nearly four years into Obama’s presidency, we still do not know whether we are looking at an actual person or a clever fabrication.
We do know, however, that Obama is a colossal narcissist. When he declared, “The private sector is doing fine,” he was not describing external reality. He was expressing his personal belief that it doesn’t matter how the private sector is doing – the only thing that matters is the public sector. When he proclaimed, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” he was not describing external reality. He was expressing his personal belief that it doesn’t matter what individuals do – the only thing that matters is what the government does.
Someone who depicts his own reality for others is called an artist. Someone who lives in his own reality is called a psychotic. Someone who attempts to force others to live in his own reality is called a would-be tyrant – but a failed politician. Barack Obama is neither an artist nor a psychotic. That leaves the last possibility.
Yes, Barack Obama could have learned a lot from Tom Clancy. But he probably found Clancy’s novels to be unbearable because they pay tribute to our nation and our military. Instead, Obama read Alinsky and other leftist authors. Instead, Obama exercised his creative talents not to write fiction, but to create a leftist fiction that seemed pleasant – at least to him – and then tried to make all of us live in it.
But you can’t live in a fiction. You can try, but eventually reality intrudes. The Soviet Union lasted 74 years before it collapsed from the dead weight of its impractical system. But things move much faster today. The socialist systems of Europe are collapsing as we speak, and the semi-socialist system of the United States is already showing serious strains. It is anyone’s guess whether our system would survive four more years of trillion-dollar deficits and central planning run amok.
Creating an imaginary world in books can bring an author fame and his readers pleasure. Attempting to create an imaginary world in a nation will bring a politician frustration and his people misery. It has happened before, and it is happening again.
Perhaps it is only a coincidence that Mitt Romney picked a highly qualified, vigorous young man named Ryan as his running mate. But somehow I have a feeling that Tom Clancy is smiling.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.