Barack Obama: the United States of America’s forty-forth, and last, President?

December 31, 2008

dennis-trainor-headshotDennis Trainor, Jr • Operation Itch writer/ editor header
more in  NEWS & ANALYSIS 

“I’m figgering
On biggering and BIGGERING and BIGGERING and BIGGERING, turning MORE Truffula Trees into  Thneeds
 which everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE needs!”

– Dr. Seuss, THE LORAX

Istanbul was Constantinople/ Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople/ Been a long time gone, Constantinople/ Why did Constantinople get the works?/ That’s nobody’s business but the Turks”  – Lyrics from “Istanbul”/ They Might Be Giants

It is hard to resist the pull to join the growing bandwagon of pundits, analysts, soccer moms, and plumbers offering their advice to Barack Obama as he prepares to become the forty- third president of the United States. Not that I am hesitant to share my opinions. After all, it was this time last year that I found myself, by virtue of sharing my opinions in a few YouTube videos, sitting on the Dennis Kucinich campaign bus across from the man running for president just days before the New Hampshire primary getting paid to offer my opinions on all matters related to politics. Dennis Kucinich, with all of my help, took 1% of the vote in New Hampshire. So I don’t delude myself into thinking that Rahm Emanuel will be presenting the president elect with the cliff notes of the advice that is to follow.

The U.S. in 2010?

The U.S. in 2010?

Amid all the hoopla of the campaign mixed with the sober realities of the never ending war(s), a recession that is on the eve of a global depression and the ever increasing possibility that I will never get a job writing for The Daily Show comes the question: what if Barack Obama is not only the next president of the United States, but the last president of the United States?

Andrew Osborn, in his December 29th article in the Wall Street Journal, sheds some light on Russian academic Igor Panarin, who predicts that the United States has seen her last presidential election cycle.


Panarin is even getting requests to scribble his John Hancock (will anyone remember him?) on this map (pictured here) he created.

According to the article: “Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.”

That, and he is sensation in the Russia state run media. Basing his forecast on classified information supplied to him from Russian Intelligence Agencies, the Osborn piece in the WSJ goes on:

He (Panarin) predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

California will form the nucleus of what he calls “The Californian Republic,” and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of “The Texas Republic,” a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an “Atlantic America” that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls “The Central North American Republic.” Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

If nothing else, this would make the next Winter Olympic basketball tournament much more competitive. But my advice to Obama, should he be listening, is not limited to equity in Olympic basketball. I also offer the following radical idea: What if Panarin’s map did not forecast the topography of a post civil war America destruction, with pieces being doled out to China, Russia and the E.U. but was a snapshot of a world after a mercy killing of sorts. In other words, what if we think of the break up of the United States along the same lines that we would think of putting down a bloodthirsty pit bull that has attacked several neighborhood children?

Sad day for the pit bull. Good day for the children. Killing the pit bull would be, in this instance, and act of altruism.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, a man whose long shadow partially created a world in which an Obama presidency is even possible, famously said the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today was the United States government. What was true in the Vietnam era is true in the era of pre emptive (or preventative, for the hair splitters) war.  Hey, you’ve got to be good at something. Throw altruism out the window. If the U.S. is analogous to that murderous pit bull, let us just say, for the sake of argument, that we don’t want to put the dog down. Another pit bull will come along, you say. A Chinese pit bull, perhaps. To that I would say that I completely understand, Obama just won a historic election, a whole world is grooving on this whole positive “yes we can” vibe- there is no way that Obama can waltz into Washington and with some self defeating attitude declaring that he is going to break up the dynasty (even if the dynasty’s is built on a foundation that is equal parts bloodshed and ponzi scheme).

However, now that I have you thinking metaphorically, perhaps it is the American dream that we should euthanize. That is my advice for Barack Obama: replace the American dream with something a little more, dare I say, inclusive? For with the American dream comes a sense of entitlement that we can no longer afford. With the American dream comes a an escalating culture of competition that has us, in both a micro sense (the American citizen) and the macro sense (America on the world stage) backed into a corner the only escape from which seems to be more competition. More violence. Borrowing from more Peters to pay more Pauls. More white collar criminals with corner offices in Manhattan acting above the heads and behind the backs of our elected officials. And for what? So we can afford to remain blithely ignorant to the connection of the blood soaked desserts of the middles east to our beloved S.U.V.’s and McMansions with kitchens that look like a photo spread for Martha Stewart living.


Perhaps it is because I do not own a new car, nor could I afford a new McMansion (in other words, according to some, I have “lost” in this competition) that the notion of Prof. Panarin’s map is oddly comforting to me.

Perhaps it is the idea of a fresh start. A new path. The path we are on, even with Obama behind the wheel, does not end well. You all know this.

Perhaps it is the idea that several smaller countries would actually improve the quality of life its citizens For those of you curious, the United States does not even crack the top 10 in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality-of- Life Index (the top three include Canada, Switzerland, and Norway). None of those countries bring home to many Olympic gold medals, but that does not seem to diminish their overall health & happiness, job security, political freedom, material well-being, or community life.

Perhaps it is the idea of my son, now only six years old and already quite the athlete, playing basketball on the 2020 Olympic team, while I cheer in the stands, proudly waving the banner of our home country. It’s a small country, we can’t afford to invade sovereign nations or anything like that, but like the rest of the industrialized world, all of our citizens have healthcare and I’m proud to call the young nation of Atlantic America my home.

Dennis Trainor Jr is the editor of Operation Itch and the writer/ performer of The Hermit with Davis Fleetwood. He is currently at work on two books, My Progressive Dilemma (chronicling President Obama’s 1st year in office) and a novel adapted from his play, I Coulda Been a Kennedy.




  1. […] More: Barack Obama: the United States of America’s forty-third, and last, President? – OPERATION I… […]

  2. I agree with the comments by Punk Patriot. I will add that NAFTA was passed by Bush Sr and Bill Clinton (then advanced by George W. Bush_ – all were funded by the elite – as were McCain and Obama. The passage of NAFTA – did not mean the end of NAFTA – only the beginning. This was an exportation of our manufacturing base, entire industries left the U.S., and jobs. At the same time liberal immigration policies were enacted, and followed was the cheap importation of labor from economically depressed countries. The strength of our own economy has been lost, and in this new world economy -the economy of countries has become interdependent — by design. The bankers and the elite have destroyed our economy by design. With few exceptions, our politicians are bought and paid for by them. Plans are underway for a fully integrated – open borders – society for Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Look up “real I.D.” or “enhanced drivers license,” and ask yourself, how this fits into their scheme of things?
    So, do you believe that the Federal Reserve, or the international bankers and financiers, the multi-national corporations — or the governments and politicians they control, care one bit about our well-being? Do believe they care any more or less about the well-being of the citizens of Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan? If you answer yes to any of that — you’re deluded, but probably happier for it in the short run.

  3. Perhaps such a division would work. Then again, perhaps not. The supreme irony of the United States is that only a Leninist would be tough and violent enough – and survive long enough – to bring nice, peaceful, comforting Social Democracy to the United States.

    But of course a Leninist would be a Leninist and therefore would not be satisfied with Social Democracy, now would they?

    Sucks to be us.

  4. I saw this over on current.com.

    I would be interesting if this happened. I think it’s more likely that if the USA collapses, that it, Canada and Mexico would all end up being swallowed by that SUPERNAFTA thing– the North American Union, or by another name, the Security and Prosperity Pact.

    Right now there are US troops that are training on US soil to use weapons on US citizens in case of economic unrest, so I would say that if this does happen, it’s an engineered crisis rather than a real one.

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