People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment. This is our time.”

This is what Barack Obama said, to a crowd of a couple hundred thousand, on Thursday, after stepping out of his spaceship in Germany. From where? From Amerika, we understand.

The very next sentence: “I know my country has not perfected itself.”

But Obama’s transition team is only beginning its work. America might be fixed during his first week in office. And then, Europe can be fixed.

Truth to tell, I was listening for, “Klaatu barada nikto”—for an assurance that the earth would not be destroyed. Obama has not told us yet, what will be the consequences to earth, if the Amerikaner do not elect him.

The phrase, in case my reader is so young, is generally agreed among the cinematographers to be the most famous statement ever made by an extraterrestrial. It is from the “iconic” 1951 movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still. You may now find the rest through Google.

What does it mean? There are disagreements among the experts. I had previously thought it was an instruction to the master robot Gort, telling him not to destroy the world, no matter what happened to Klaatu. But on more diligent research, I found other interpretations.

It could mean, “Klaatu needs his barium pills right away.” It could just mean, “Klaatu sends his regards on your birthday.”

To be poststructuralist about this, there is a who/whom problematic in the relationship between Gort and Klaatu. Does Klaatu give instructions to Gort, or vice versa? If the latter, Klaatu might not be in a position to prevent the destruction of our planet. Perhaps the phrase means something like: “Klaatu says, go for it. High five!”

I have the same puzzle over the speech from Berlin. My information had been, from his own camp, that Barack Obama writes his own speeches, or at least, is among his own leading speechwriters. The speeches—at least, the ones to mass rallies, where the people swoon, and the young women faint—are very smooth, if you ignore the content. But his dreadful, underreported performances when away from the teleprompter make me wonder more and more if there is even less to the Obama phenomenon than I first suspected.

“Gort” I take as analogous to the Left end of the Democrat Party machine, that is riding him to power.

Has anyone noticed the speeches are full of ludicrous non sequiturs? Consider this prize:

“The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.”

Interesting point, though I’d heard it before. What comes next?

“As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.”

Interesting if true, as they say. But what is the connexion?

“People of Berlin! People of the world! This is our moment! This is our time!”

According to the experts at Newsweek, and numerous other MSM outlets, this is a phrase we will be hearing for many years. It will go down in the history videos with John F. Kennedy’s, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” (when he unintentionally identified himself with the popular German pork and veal sausage); or Ronald Reagan’s, “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!”

Indeed, this was the week when CNN’s on-air discussion of whether the media were “in love with Obama” was interrupted by a breaking news flash: Senator Obama’s airplane had just landed safely in Jerusalem!

And the week when Investor’s Business Daily did a little digging to calculate that cash contributions from “mainstream” journalists were going to Obama and McCain, respectively, in the ratio of approximately 100-to-1. (Can you guess, just from watching, which candidate receives the 100?)

It is summer. Then comes the fall. We cannot yet know how the U.S. presidential campaign will unfold, and the party conventions have not even been held yet. But we can know that we are witnessing a deeply disturbing spectacle.

Germans should be quite disturbed by the spectacle of a demagogue who communicates with the public almost exclusively through mass rallies. Americans should be disturbed by what should disturb the Germans.

I am disturbed that with the general decline of public standards in education, morals, and reasoning, we have come to the point when a candidate like Obama can elude any serious cross-examination, and actually get himself elected President.

Latest posts by Paul Albers (see all)