Written by Sig Silber
Random Thoughts from the High Desert
A "Failed Presidency" sounds like bad news for the President. In this case, however, we may be seeing the demise of the U.S. as we have known it.
Of course it would not be appropriate in an initial article on the subject for George Friedman to go that far, but I am not constrained by multiple client contracts so I can state the obvious.
George Friedman of Stratfor recently published an article entitled: On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies which can be found here.
It is kind of interesting to see a President become increasingly unpopular as an economy recovers from a crisis. That takes a concerted effort.
It is also interesting to see a President become increasingly unpopular when the opposition Party, the Republican Party, is clueless about economics and money. The Republican Party has nothing to offer other than being the Stop-Obama movement and the Party that appears to respect the concept that the U.S. is a Republic with three co-equal branches of government.
People will search for explanations but the explanation is simple. This President does not respect the people of the United States or the Institutional Structures of the United States. So it seems to many that he is actually at war with the Nation which in theory he leads. That is also how I feel about him.
There is a lesson here. It should be obvious that in a two-Party system there will be major differences in the approaches favored by each Party. The Disciples of each Party will generally be non-objective in assessing the wisdom of the approaches being advocated by their Party. Those who are inclined to vote for the Party in power will tend to support the actions of that Party whether they make any sense or not. Those from the opposition Party will similarly oppose essentially everything that the Party in power wishes to do. That is especially true when there is no threat to create a need to unite on a temporary basis.
The final judgment is made by those who are not committed to one Party or the other. So in a certain sense, this group is more objective than the people who are committed to a specific Party.
As George Friedman points out, it is this group that has turned on President Obama. He has also lost support within parts of his own Party which see themselves harmed by the policies of the Party to which they are normally firmly attached. African Americans have been hurt economically and will soon be hurt even more and Jews with an allegiance to Israel may be unsure of the wisdom of this Leader even though Liberal Jews are, in many cases, at the heart of the Obama policies. So that is a group that is really struggling with how they should align.
Personally, I think it is proof that our system works: that there is collective intelligence that recognizes when they have been sold a bill of goods. Unfortunately, it is not simply a question of the wisdom of this Administration but to me and perhaps others there are serious concerns about the mental health of both the President and the group which surrounds him. We have talk of insurrection. It is still a small number but the rate of people rejecting U.S. citizenship is increasing. It will increase.
FDR issued more than ten times as many Executive Orders as Obama. I was not alive at the time of most of these Executive Orders being issued. I am sure that many took exception to the increasing power of the Executive Branch during the Great Depression and during WWII. I am assuming however that most felt that the measures taken were either justified or temporary and that FDR was not a Failed President acting out.
Perhaps Presidents need to have the skills necessary to maintain the support of the people while making difficult decisions. Although FDR was a transformational President, I doubt that he was perceived as intending to transform the U.S. in a way that was unrelated to a need for doing so to deal with clear and present dangers but simply because he had a different vision for what the U.S. should look like. His success at reelection suggests that the majority had confidence in him and certainly did not conclude that he was out of touch with reality as I have relative to our current President. I doubt that I am the only one who has come to that conclusion.
At some point, Extreme Leadership unrelated to clear and present dangers begins to resemble a Dictatorship. From my perspective that is the line that has been crossed. I no longer feel that I live in a free country. It is unrecognizable to me. It is like the novel "1984" on steroids.
I think it is very unusual for Stratfor which is a Political Risk analysis firm, i.e. they assess the risk of external affairs to U.S. interests, to declare a sitting U.S. President to be a Failed President. Although their analysis is correct, I am sorry they did this. It is a signal to our enemies and competitors to take advantage of the situation. They have and will now be even more emboldened.
If the Republican Party had something substantial to offer, I would see this simply as the normal process of checks and balances with the opposition Party gaining strength when the Party in power is inept or goes too far. But I read the current situation as far more serious than that.
Last year I wrote the article "Nation of New Mexico" which can be found here. I had a number of reasons for do so. The most direct reason was that I see New Mexico as non-sustainable as a separate State for a variety of reasons and think it can exist only as a beggar state much like most Territories, such as Puerto Rico. But I had a second reason for writing that article as I see the U.S. vulnerable to break up and realignment in various ways including with our neighbors to the north and south. This realignment would occur for economic and cultural reasons not primarily because of the Failed Obama Presidency.
But President Obama has made that process more likely and advanced the possible timing of such an event which would not be peacefully accomplished although it can begin incrementally through various legal mechanisms for regional cooperation including cooperation with Mexico and Canada. Such realignments do however create stresses which usually lead to violence at some point. We may be reading more from George Friedman over the years as that process evolves.
It would be a particularly problematic process for New Mexico as we do not fit neatly into any of the logical groupings that might evolve. Or perhaps I have analyzed the situation incorrectly. But in my mental map of the future of North America, New Mexico is:
A. Not part of Vulcania, the possible West Coast Nation (see map below)
B. Not part of Borealia, formed by merging the Northern Tier of the U.S. with Canada to become a very successful nation.
C. Not part of Metropolia, the remainder of the East Coast and adjacent inland states, which also is sustainable.
D. Not part of Dixie, the Deep South, which will be poor but content.
E. Texas and Oklahoma might be part of Mexico or Mexico del Norte which would involve the more industrialized northern provinces of Mexico splitting off to create a more industrialized nation.
F. Utah and Colorado might go with Borealia or Vulcania.
G. Arizona most likely would go with Vulcania or it and Southern California might end up being part of Mexico del Norte. Either way, it works.
H. Alaska, not shown on the map, would logically be part of Borealia; and Hawaii would be part of Vulcania
There are a few states I have not dealt with. Landlocked Nations are not my cup of tea. These states obviously will have to join up with one or the other of the viable nations perhaps Borealia even if they are mostly grasslands and cow pastures. There might even be some logical reasons to split that "netherland" three ways between Boralia, Vulcania and Mexico Del Norte.
New Mexico would again be in the position it was during the prior Civil War. This time it is likely to be dismembered. The fault line might go right through my property. The San Marcos Arroyo might be the boundary line. That is not a very pleasant thought. But if you look at a topo map you can see how this might work out with the Rio Grande being the eastern boundary and the San Marcos Arroyo which reaches the Rio Grande via Galisteo Creek to the east and originates up near Glorieta Pass being the part of the boundary establishing the Northwest corner of Mexico del Norte.
From Glorieta Pass (the site of a major Civil War Battle) the boundary might head east through a break in the Rocky Mountains and continue east towards Texas or Oklahoma perhaps following one of the previously utilized wagon train trails that was the basis for westward migration at a prior time in our history. This would create a boundary where whatever is north of that line would tend to be politically much more liberal in thinking than to the south. Somewhere, I have a eco-map that shows how this works out re climate zones, wildlife migration corridors etc. So from a climate and ecology perspective it makes sense.
George Friedman has announced the beginning of that process being played out and we will hear more on that from him as the history proceeds in the making which may occur more rapidly than most might expect.
Madmen and those who take actions which may appear to be of a nature which would be taken by someone who is not grounded in reality often have a large impact on History. This appears to be one of those situations.