It took a while before I got back to Mars this time. Lots of static and rocks in the universe. What a relief when I landed safely at the Space Launching Site of Mars City Heliport. Elmer was waiting for me in the reception hall, smiling broadly.
“Hello Mars,” he welcomed me, “we heard about your lovely time with Kathryn and the universe kids. How was Space?”
“Rocky,” I answered. “Some ship must have lost its bearings or threw its metal garbage overboard. My radar kept beeping and the Scooter abruptly changed course several times. Couldn’t sleep.”
“You mentioned you taped an interesting interview on Earth with a prominent person, very curious.”
“We’ll use this for our next Round Table show. You‘ll see.”
Elmer took me home in his new sunlight-powered self-steering tour mobile.
“You can seat comfortably,” he said, “and look out the fiberglass windows and rooftop while enjoying a Martian beer or an Earthly Martini. I only have to punch the address in the computer on the dashboard and off we go, fully automatic.”
The tour mobile glided almost silently in-between buildings and over fields till we got to my home.
“Wonderful ride,” I said admiringly.
“Jupiter Drone brought it on the market,” Elmer clarified. “It’s a substantial improvement of its predecessor. Well, I’ll leave you here, you must be tired. We’ll talk tomorrow in the office. ”
Exhausted I went to bed, thinking of my lovely Kathryn and her universe kids in far remote and troubled Earth, hoping to see them back soon on the Omaha screen.
A few days later, we were seated at the conference table in Mars TV studio and the whole panel was present. The red light blinked telling us we were on. At the same time the VC opened showing Kathryn and her panel at her Omaha Studio.
“Welcome back to everyone,” I began, “greetings to you on Earth too, do you read us well?”
“Fine and clear,” Kathryn said, “Greetings to you too. We’re all set.”
“As we announced, we’ll show you my interview with an influential and well-informed person taped during my recent stay on Earth. His name is Dr. Philip Kisshanger who has a broad background in the world of politics, business, and international gambling. He even travelled in a Russian Soyuz rocket to visit Earth’s International Space Station to study if he could see the world from a more objective point of view. His visions are most revealing. Roll the tape.”
It showed me sitting in a luxury suite in a Four Seasons Hotel in Washington D.C., in front of a suitably grey-haired Dr. Kisshanger, hooked nose, piercing eyes, dressed in an impeccable dark suit, white shirt, and sedate dark blue dotted tie decorated with a golden pin and a 2 carats diamond.
“Dr. Kisshanger,” I started, “we’re most grateful for allowing us this interview which will reach our many viewers on Earth and Mars combined. Where do you see Earth heading to today?”
“That’s a very good question, Mr. Mars. Frankly, the sights are not good. The United States has significantly weakened because its heavily indebted economy is severely leveraged to its competitors and potential enemies such as China. Its capacity to exert its influence in geopolitics has virtually disappeared as rogue nations take its power for granted and continue their reckless path to destruction undisturbed. Europe has shown it’s incapable of keeping its financial union in check and its once prosperous looking future is rapidly losing steam. Russia is continuing to play its Russian Roulette and wraps the USA around its greedy fingers. Several Latin American countries are plagued by internal instability and spiral downward to socialism and drug wars. Central and South Asia remain in turmoil, torn between poverty and internal hatred. Despite substantial foreign aid, Africa seems unable to get beyond its ethnic strife. And then the eternal struggle of the Middle-East. For thousands of years they have been at war with each other, either internally or across borders, and I’m afraid that will never change. Previously that did not matter but since most of the world’s oil is on their lands, it does now. I’d rather be on Mars.”
“You’d be most welcome, Dr. Kisshanger, but you may miss your daily Omaha steak. What do you think should be done to safeguard America’s future?”
“First of all, the United States must regain its superpower status that the current leadership has squandered for no good reason. As a result, it’s being bullied in the United Nations in front of the world by egregious leaders whose regimes have no respect for the most basic human rights and who are out to destroy the West. Unless the American leadership is replaced by a much more fearless team, this fragility will lead to World War Three and a catastrophic loss of life.”
“But we hear all the time that the United States Military is the strongest in the world.”
“Not with a Commander in Chief who bows to his Islamic oil suppliers or who doesn’t put the rascals in the UN on their place with everyone to see it.”
“Do you think that Americans are suffering from Islamophobia?”
“Americans are rightfully concerned. Islamic radicalism is a built-in feature of its religion. It was spread with the sword in hand. Surely the religion, like any religion, has peaceful elements and social validity, and for many millions of Islamic believers this is probably the case, but for those who are illiterate and suffer from poverty and merciless dictatorship, and those who seek their power, it breeds desire to destroy what they see as threatening their beliefs and social system. They believe that God gives them the sword to subdue or kill in his name even at the loss of their own life. American leaders should call a spade a spade, as not doing so is only seen as utter weakness.”
“Would that mean going to war with Iran on the nuclear issue?”
“Iranians are an intelligent people and most of them mistrust or even hate their Government. The American administration has missed several chances of supporting the local opposition on its path to revolt. That’s the first step that should be corrected. Once the Mullah regime and the hard-liners develop the bomb, it will be much harder to do.”
“The US administration has tried with stronger sanctions but there is no international agreement.”
“True, but a blockade of refined oil to Iran is all what’s needed. It would paralyze their economy in the shortest time and topple their government because they don’t have sufficient refinery capacity. A partial coalition of the willing can achieve that; it only requires a bit of guts. That’s what’s lacking in today’s Western world, mainly because of American reluctance to act. But it would be a lot less costly than war.”
“America’s wars have cost it dearly and the opposition has decried its waste of money and lives.”
“One cannot maintain the West’s freedom and way of life without defending it time and again. We had Nazism, Communism, and now we face the threats from worldwide Islamism. So far, America has stood up and prevailed. There is a cost to freedom. If you don’t pay it, you will lose it, and that costs a lot more. America’s future is at stake. People who don’t believe it and take no action will only find out when it’s too late. Remember Munich and Pearl Harbor, and more recently New York’s Towers which was close enough.”
“You feel that New Yorkers are right to oppose the construction of that mosque on Ground Zero?”
“I fully share that view. Unless the Islamic promoters support the construction of a Christian church in their midst in the Middle East, such as Mecca in Saudi Arabia or Teheran, and stop their pursuit of Christians and Jews in their local societies, New Yorkers shouldn’t budge. The American leadership has been utterly hypocritical about this. Hiding behind our principles of religious freedom is no way to defend our freedoms and Christian faith.”
“What are your views on the local political scene in the United States?”
“The revolt against socialism is a healthy reaction to an administration that is pursuing an agenda of an intellectual few that mainly stems from the radical sixties. But it’s not just an American revolt. It is spreading to Europe as well, and they’re watching the forthcoming elections here carefully to see if it is carrying weight. Europe is far more entrenched in socialism than the United States and what is now being tried here has already proved a failure over there. Governments can’t pay their bills anymore. There’s a move to the right in several European countries. That’s why it’s so surprising that its supporters here are still prepared to push it through.”
“What pushes them?”
“For more than a century after the industrial revolution, social ideologists have tried too quell the capitalist ideology. It is based on good intentions gone awry, because equality is essentially an oxymoron. It so happens that no economic system is perfect because we humans, who operate it, are not perfect. Still, even the factory worker is a capitalist: he/she wants to earn more to possess more, but their class war leaders think they can achieve that by taking away from those who risked their money. Human nature, socialist or capitalist, reacts to incentives. If you take away the incentives from the risk takers, they won’t invest and employ anymore, as simple as that.”
“Why is the current leadership pursuing this ideology then?”
“To make people dependent on them and stay in power. But you can only fully implement that in dictatorships, and communism has failed. So they try to win majorities in the democratic system and impose their ideology that way. This caused the high unemployment rate in Europe and is now affecting the economy here. Increasing taxes to spend more for the good of the people is doomed policy. Bureaucrats and parliamentarians don’t know how to make money, only how to spend it to stay elected.”
“Can this hateful division in the political system of the United States and elsewhere be solved?”
“In a democracy, the pendulum swings between left and right. The left went too far to the left this time and will pay the price. It’s up to the right to strike an economic balance that everyone can live with, profitably and conveniently. America’s future hangs in that balance. It will require exquisite leadership to achieve that. Reagan did. The person who will enunciate that balance has not yet shown its face.”
“Is the tea party movement a failed movement then?”
“It’s a catalyst, a unique revolt against a statist assault to destroy the true American entrepreneurial spirit. The statists don’t understand the country they’re born in. The person who will grasp the movement’s ideas and passion, and extrapolate it nationally, will surely emerge and defeat them. The same thing will happen in Europe if it isn’t already.”
“Well, Dr. Kisshanger, I thank you very much for this interesting interview. We hope you will appear before our universe audience again.”
“That’s all the time we have my dear viewers,” I said, seeing the red light blinking, “see you next time.”