In 356 B.C., a Greek psychopath by the name of Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in order to immortalize his name. Hence the phrase: to pursue a Herostratic honor.
In 2008 A.D., a rather inscrutable individual was elected president of the United States and proceeded without delay to covet and acquire a more or less identical distinction, intent on destroying the temple of constitutional liberty under the rubric of a “fundamental transformation.” Of course, there is more to it than simply desiring a historic reputation by whatever means at his disposal. It has become obvious that the president is a confirmed Alinskyite seeking to replace a functioning republic with a socialist mega-state. His leftist friends and mentors, now well-known, along with his policies and activities make this a more than reasonable assumption.
But there is likely another factor at work, as many have come to suspect: namely, a deep resentment of the usages, principles, and geopolitical behavior of the nation he ostensibly governs and for which he relentlessly apologizes. It appears he has done everything in his power to bring it to the very brink of ruin, alienating its allies, courting its enemies, surrounding himself with incompetents, toadies, petty despots, and neo-Marxists, introducing fiscal programs that have only exacerbated the most devastating economic crisis since the Great Depression, rendering the borders of the nation permeable to a veritable invasion of “illegals” and criminal elements, cutting back on its military hardware, and “reaching out” to an Islamic world whose inroads into the American body social he has thereby materially facilitated.
Given his manifestly unpresidential comportment, including a lifestyle of “fun and games” while a country groans, it is hard to resist a contemporary analogy. Assuming it is not Herostratic fame he is after but the destruction of free-market republicanism, Obama is the living incarnation of ideological malware. He is like a Stuxnet-bearing USB memory device inserted into America’s political operating system and gradually but ineluctably infecting the entire network, from foreign policy to almost every aspect of domestic management, turning the state against itself. Like Stuxnet, the president appeared on the scene without much, if any, in the way of prior warning, exploiting the flaws and vulnerabilities in the system, reprogramming the governing process with the help of default passwords, that is, fine-sounding slogans, and mutating through the software of administrative command. No one has yet come up with an effective counteragent or a way to patch the loopholes in the legislative architecture. The “worm” continues to seize control of its target, replicating from node to node along the democratic circuitry which nerves the country, with something like the same insatiable appetite of the “great Worm” in Dante’s third circle of the Inferno, rending “the people embogged about his lair.”