Let's Hang the Kaiser Around Obama's Collar
Quick! Which American president is most like the blustery, shallow Kaiser Wilhelm II who blundered Germany into World War I one hundred years ago?
I'm ashamed to say the connection hadn't occurred to me until I picked up David Blackbourn's The Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany, 1780-1918. And really, until recently, like Sgt. Schultz, we knew nothing about what went on in the White House. How could we have known about President Obama's shallowness and dilatory conduct, and the Obama Blood Feud with the Clintons?
Now it all seems so obvious. Even so, it takes three full sentences to get the full flavor of Barack Obama: Worst. President. Ever.
But why? Why would the Germans put up with a fool for a Kaiser, and why would liberals push a lightweight on us as America's First Black President?
Again, the answer now seems obvious. The Germans got Kaiser Bill because they could afford to. By the time that Wilhelm II became Kaiser the Germans had solved their age-old problem. They had beaten the French in 1870 after suffering centuries of French domination and they had become not just a land of poets and thinkers but the most powerful nation in Europe. The Germans could afford a Kaiser who was a fool, for now France would always come in second place. Their problem was that there was nobody with the wisdom to say: look, we are now the most powerful nation in Europe, so let's just preside over the French instead of spanking them.
Likewise our own beloved liberals. They won. Liberal ideas dominate America. Their social programs define America; their bureaucracies tell everyone what to do; their schools teach our children what to think; their media tell us what to feel. So in 2008 liberals could afford to indulge their fantasies and nominate an Affirmative Action mediocrity as America's First Black President. But there was nobody with the sense to tell the Obamis to relax and preside over America instead of making the dumb-ass mistake of fundamentally transforming it.
In the current centennial of Sarajevo dozens of wise liberal heads are telling us how dumb the Germans were to pull the house down with their bullying and bluster in the years before 1914. What would a land power do with a high-seas battle fleet? What did the Balkans really matter? Why did Germany, now an industrial powerhouse, need to dominate Eastern Europe or build a Berlin-to-Baghdad railway? A century later, Germany is at the head of Europe anyway, even after losing two world wars.
Now let's look at America's liberals. Why do liberals need to flood the nation with immigrants and lower wages for the middle class? Why do liberals need to transform the government-dominated health system into a complete administrative system where nothing moves without liberal approval? Why do liberals need to punish an employer for not toeing precisely the liberal line on abortion? Why are people losing their jobs because they don't get with the program on “marriage equality?”
I will tell you why. It's because people that worship at the shrine of power and politics are dull and stupid. The only thing they know is power and they can't get enough of it. The Germany of 1910 couldn't stop at merely being the most powerful and most prosperous nation in Europe. It had to bully the rubes in every corner of the continent. The U.S. liberals of 2010 can't stop at pretty well running everything in America. They have to stamp out the Hobby Lobby crabgrass in the front lawn, and make a perfect health-care patio by the swimming pool. Because what is political power for if not to bully and harass?
Can nations afford their Kaiser Bills? Germany certainly couldn't. And today ordinary Americans are rating Barack Obama a worse president than George W. Bush. They realize, too late, that they can't afford President Obama.
But the real danger is not that we can't afford Obama. It is that Obama's phone-and-pen presidency will set off an era of political turmoil, as opponents of liberal hegemony realize that liberal cultural colonialism has to be resisted by any means necessary, just as Europe ruinously decided to resist the aggressive policy of Germany by any means necessary in 1914.
I'm sure that Wilhelmine Germans were thoroughly convinced that a Europe run by Germans would be best for everyone, and inevitable really, as Germany were the most advanced country in Europe.
The trouble is that for non-Germans in 1914 things looked a bit different. Same for non-liberals in 2014. You either decide to fight the aggressor's program of cultural hegemony or you'd better get used to the idea of cultural extinction.