Some things are just plum out of the realm of manipulation.
Take Sunday, for example, Easter Sunday.
Here in southern California we had the trails of an earthquake hit us mid-afternoon, right smack in the middle of my nap. Even though my couch sat a couple hundred miles from the epicenter, it felt like the sky was falling and doomsday was here (for all of forty-five seconds that is)...and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The earth was in control.
And speaking of Doomsday, have no fear, last time I checked we were six minutes to midnight.
That is Six Minutes from Midnight, as according to a select group of scientists, engineering the hands of Doomsday Clock, marking the end of all time as we know it.
If we turn back the hands of time, we will see that it was at the start of Reagan's Presidency when we were considered to be "four minutes from midnight"...as the authors of The Bulletin duly note:
"1981: The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan hardens the U.S. nuclear posture. Before he leaves office, President Jimmy Carter pulls the United States from the Olympics Games in Moscow and considers ways in which the United States could win a nuclear war. The rhetoric only intensifies with the election of Ronald Reagan as president. Reagan scraps any talk of arms control and proposes that the best way to end the Cold War is for the United States to win it."Of course, knowing me and knowing G, what am I struck with the most? The stark reality that America was being led by a President who was in it to win it; he changed the attitudes and latitudes by immediately creating a new age of defense, and turned to the final frontier for answers outside the box and away from the confines of the earth's boundaries -- space. And the anti-missile response to a nuclear attack was born and bred and flourished -- and the rest, as they say, is history. The wall came down and totalitarian control was out of vogue in places everywhere far and wide.
Honestly, who really wants to have a nuclear war? Does anybody really win? Really?
But the Reagan attitude changed everything -- he was like a cowboy riding in on his horse to save the day, whether it was a doomsday or just any old Sunday. And as Americans, we felt secure for the first time in a very long time.
The thing is,
with Obama, our security quotient is at sixty seconds to midnight and he isn't even noticing.
We are watching a man try so hard to be the "un-Bush", we feel he has compromised America's status to the entire world, as well as our ability to defend ourselves (the irony); with Obama, the prince of peace with a Nobel to show for it, seems so bent to control everyone, from the Chamber of Commerce to Congress, from Tea Party protesters to extremist leaders, he pisses them all off. He defeats the purpose and actually makes them want to attack back, if only in war of words.
Now I am the first one to wish we could all sit around and eat cookies at three o'clock in the afternoon as if not a care in the world; why wouldn't anyone want that? Even an Ahmadinejad. But that's not the way of human nature, is it?
Matter of fact, it's not of any nature -- even the animal kingdom must fight for their life and food and security on any given day! Even the plant kingdom must adapt to the changes of the sun and the wind and the rain -- but as if that's not enough, nothing will protect them from even the tiniest of creatures, as they eat the living daylights out of them.
It is a widely known fact, only sometimes brushed off as rhetoric -- we are all at the mercy of nature. Natural Laws are abundant, and they live and reign all around us at any given moment. And like many, I believe that God created mankind and the natural world that surrounds us -- including a man by the name of Darwin -- and another by the name of Obama, too.
We adapt. We evolve. Most of us try to leave the world a better place.
But do we really think we can control outside sources, other people's actions, mindless destruction, or otherwise bad people doing evil things or violent forces of nature? Very little of it is within our individual power to affect change; and yet, how we are subject to the actions and attitudes of our fearless leaders, and how!
It's not like any leader can predict or alter or keep an earthquake from happening; but deeper still, how our leaders -- namely our president -- react and commune with "the other side" has a plethora of merits and liabilities outside of our control.
Take for instance, Obama. It's kind of like Obama isn't thinking like a cowboy; he vacillates from leaving either too much on the table, or he doesn't make enough demands from the start, or simply plays the delay card for as long as he can.
But more than that, it's as if through his personal sudden rise to statehood, along with the air of arrogance and intellectual prowess he exudes, he really believes he can control things -- even if these things are clearly on the outside of his natural capabilities, outside of the natural law of order. From world leaders to natural resources, from global warming to disarmament, he truly believes he can manipulate and cajole, threaten and talk of sanctions until he is blue in the face -- everyone will come round and see it his way. (Interesting...actions and rhetoric eerily familiar with the ongoing health care debate...but I digress.)
With his Chicago style politics lurking under the surface and sometimes even glaringly apparent, he relies on his skills of making character assassinations and ridicule to make his point and shift public opinion; but unfortunately for us, little does his experience offer the fortitude to withstand against opposition on principle alone. For ultimately, acting in thugocracy versus true diplomacy at all costs, it has little affect on a guy like Ahmadinejad -- who doesn't give a flying hoot about integrity, honor, or even so much as the beauty and simplicity of a Sunday afternoon, unlike the rest of us.
But more than that, for Obama, he chooses to go for the jugular against a staunch ally, as in the friend we have in Israel --making ultimatums and pressuring to up-end decades of alliances previously made; while it would seem by such actions to be blatantly consenting to the cries of the Palestinians, and subsequently turning a tide centuries in the making all in one fell swoop. Having then received vindication, as if miraculously they have risen to the right side of the law of the land, the diplomatic gap between the two sides widens even further, and it deepens, appearing to be unmanageable by foot or by horse, having grown to the conclusion that even simple communication across the table sits oceans apart.
But more than that, for Obama, what has stymied his dream of world evolution for good has been his own controlling nature; he thought that by coming in with everything he's got to apologize, to make nice, to smooth over or to push back, chock-full of peacemaker pretense and no holds barred persuasions, all the hot spots in the world would unite and solve themselves -- all this under the elements and inherent influences of some kind of natural law of simply taking it, and being of humble pie and unicorns and rainbows. Never heard of that one working out before, have you? Even the war in Afghanistan has a time limit according to this president; the 'in it to win it' attitude once previously held in high standard, looking more and more long gone, and riding into the sunset as we speak.
An earthquake may have had nothing to do with it, but walls came down under Reagan from a position of true strength of leadership; he took the bull by the horns and created a safe environment for two superpowers hell-bent on nuclear domination, along with an anti-missile defense system to match, to unite with precision and in utmost respect for the polarized sides to come together -- all this while cutting taxes and controlling the evil spread of big government over our American soil -- releasing the forces of job creation and unprecedented prosperity wherever they lay dormant.
In the years immediately following Reagan's presidency, the Doomsday Clock was at some of it's lowest levels, peaking at "17 minutes before midnight" in the year 1991.
But once again, individuals in power have the power to change things -- whether it be a series of minor quakes and rumblings, which only amount to enough to keep us on our toes -- or whether it be the big one -- which shakes us at our very core, crumbling everything we know and love -- only time will tell. Only in hindsight, upon the latitude of a neutral position mind you, will we have the potential to learn something; only a look back through the eyes of what makes history, history, will we truly understand the nature of our actions and choices we make -- especially the actions expressly made for us.
My home and my life are still very much intact after Sunday's quake, thank you God; the only thing that continues to stir is the lingering doubt of a man in place to change everything else, and worse, thinks he can. That reality, in the wake of a few too many missteps already, shakes me to my soul.
Make it a Good Day, G
and here's a little something to shake things up from the days of America's one and only, Reagan...