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.”
Indeed, the “worm” has succeeded in circumventing the old constitutional firewall, leaving no alternative but to purge the system of the malicious code that has taken over its internal workings. The upcoming congressional elections are a modest beginning, but, should the effort succeed, a potent defense, perhaps via constitutional amendments, will need to be set up in the future to prevent or at least mitigate a recurrence of such vermicular infestations.
Meanwhile, the septic travesty persists. In less than two years under Obama’s once-clandestine tradecraft, the United States has become almost unrecognizable, saddled with astronomical deficits, printing fiat currency, shredding the protocols of investment security, retreating before the threats looming on the international front, bowing to autocratic belligerents, utterly misconstruing the volatile Middle East to everyone’s eventual detriment, ceding to the most corrupt institution on the face of the planet, a.k.a. the United Nations, promoting costly and dubious new-age fantasies like cap and tax, distorting the concept and practice of justice as it pertains to the treatment of its own people, and showing itself hospitable to the creeping advance of Sharia jihad into the nation’s vitals.
Whether we regard the president as the modern embodiment of the arsonist Herostratus or the human version of the Stuxnet worm, the damage that he has done to the complex grid of assumptions, legalities, policies, and enactments that scaffold the structure of the republic cannot be underestimated. An antidote will have to be found, sooner rather than later. Otherwise, the system will inevitably crash. The Obamanator will see to it.