By Farooq A. Kperogi
There are many wacky, out-of-this-world conspiracy theories about Obama, especially in American right-wing circles, but the one that cracks me up the most is the claim that Obama had been primed from his very birth to become president of America.
Many so-called birthers (people who believe Obama was not born in America) say it’s in furtherance of the grand conspiracy to make Obama president of America (in order to undermine it from within) that when he was born in Kenya in August 1961, Freemasons or some other villainously shadowy group caused his birth to be fraudulently published in a Honolulu newspaper on the day he was born!
But, come to think of it, this wildly crackpot conspiracy theory about Obama is ironically the most plausible—at least on the surface. Many historical accidents in Obama’s life conspire to confer credence to the wacky notion that he was somehow magically born to become president of America, about which he himself knew. From a very impressionable age, according to many accounts, Obama had always been obsessed with becoming president.
As a 5-year-old boy, according to the Los Angeles Times, Obama once wrote an essay titled, “I Want to Become President.” His elementary school teacher, Fermina Katarina Sinaga, said Obama’s essay was a response to her assignment to the class to write an essay titled, “My Dream: What I Want to be in the Future.” When he wrote the essay, some states in the American south had not granted blacks the right to vote and be voted for.
As a 6-year-old boy in an Indonesian Catholic school, Obama also wrote that his greatest ambition in life was to become president. In a 2007 interview with the MSNBC TV network, Obama’s former teacher, identified as 67-year-old Iis Darmawan, recalled Obama as the unusually tall boy with curly hair who wrote an essay titled “I Want to Become President.”
At age 9, when his Indonesian step-father asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, Obama reportedly said, “Oh, Prime Minister.” He’d probably thought by then that he would permanently stay in Indonesia where his mother had relocated to after marrying the Indonesian.
The Hillary Clinton campaign tried to use this information against Obama in the fiercely fought 2007 primary contest. Clinton wanted to show that Obama’s run for president was not actuated by a patriotic zeal but by a childhood obsession, by a journey of self-discovery. But the strategy backfired. The American media dismissed the attacks as childish.
The obsession to become president endured to adulthood. When he was dating Michelle, Craig Robinson, Michelle’s older brother, was given the task of taking Obama out for basketball games to get a sense of what kind of person his sister was falling in love with—and might get married to. In the course of their interaction during the basketball games, Robinso asked Obama, who had just graduated from Law School, what his plans for the future were.
Obama said he had plans to run for the state senate and possibly the U.S. Senate but that his ultimate goal was to become president of the United States. Robinson said while he was impressed with Obama’s overall dignified demeanor and suitability to be his sister’s future husband, he was embarrassed by Obama’s career path, especially the part about wanting to become president of the United States.
How could a black man with a “funny name” aspire to be president of this white nation that still had huge, insurmountable racial hang-ups, he thought? He thought Obama was either a dreamer or a man with no ambitions. He was so embarrassed for him, he said, that he refused to disclose that part of their discussion to his sister, lest she should also dismiss him as an overambitious—or ambitionless— dreamer.
A few years later, while a state senator and a part-time senior lecturer in law at the University of Chicago, Obama once told his students that he could one day become America’s president. He made the comment, according to the New York Times, in the context of the changing dynamics of race relations in America while teaching a “Race and the Law” course. The New York Times said Obama’s comment elicited suppressed laughter and later loud guffaws from his students. Some of the students in the class who spoke to the paper recalled that Obama was offended. In retrospect, he appeared to know that the prospect of his becoming president of America was a real, graspable possibility.
Of course, the conspiracy theorists who say Obama was set up to be president by malevolent secret societies intent on global domination are not necessarily aware of these narratives, but they sure are good fodder for them. But why would the omnipresent, omnipotent, all-knowing Illuminati (or is it Freemasons) allow Obama to be born in Kenya only to be compelled to later cause Hawaii’s most notable newspaper to record the story of his birth—in common with all kids born the same day in the same city? You would think that a smart, all-conquering group— such as we’ve been led to think the conniving, evil secret societies are— would know better than to make that kind of a costly mistake.
Well, the truth about Obama’s enduring obsession with becoming president was that his mother taught him from his formative years that he could become anything he ever wanted, including being president of the United States. Like most children, he believed his mother without questions. Of course, for thousands of American kids, wanting to become president is a favorite dream. (As a matter of fact, my daughter, who can’t be an American president because she wasn’t born here and who is only 10 months old in America, tells me she wants to become president of the United States some day!). It just so happened that things fortuitously fell in place for Obama.
Anyway, the ultra-nationalist streak of the conspiracy theory which claims that Obama has been deliberately planted by the Illuminati to undermine and dismember America must be searching for new material to sustain their narratives. Obama is currently riding on the crest of a wave of massive goodwill in America on account of his administration’s claim to have killed Osama bin Laden. Pundits say this singular act is his passport to a second term. Maybe this is all part of the grand Illuminati conspiracy.