, , , , , , , , ,


The Manifest Destiny

John L. O’Sullivan, (15 November 1813 – 24 March 1895) sketched in 1874, was an influential columnist as a young man, but he is now generally remembered only for his use of the phrase “manifest destiny” to advocate the annexation of Texas and   Oregon. (See Manifest Destiny, Wikipedia.)

Micheline is sad, says Belaud the cat. She is sad because she does not think President Obama knew to what extent practices, proponents of the “Manifest Destiny” would have allowed, were used by United States President George W. Bush.  

She also thinks that, in all likelihood, abusive surveillance continued after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States because he did not know the US was listening in on the entire world, including its friends. We need to trust at least a few persons and nations, which fully explains Chancellor Merkel’s reaction. President Obama knew he had to protect his people, but may not have been aware that the NSA (National Security Agency) was monitoring Chancellor Merkel’s mobile telephone.

“Now Micheline” I said, “you know very well that people hear what they want or wish to hear and that the manner in which a message is understood depends largely on the way it is formulated. He may not have known.” 

“Manifest Destiny”

The term “Manifest Destiny” was coined by John O’Sullivan in the July-August 1845 issue of his United States Magazine and Democratic Review and, according to William Earl Weeks,[i] quoted in Wikipedia, its three themes were the following:

  1. The special virtues of the American people and their institutions;
  2. America’s mission to redeem and remake the world in the image of America;
  3. A divine destiny under God’s direction to accomplish this wonderful task.

Thomas Jefferson

Founding father Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was a proponent of the “Manifest Destiny.” Yet, he owned hundreds of slaves and fathered six children with slave Sally Hemings (c. 1773 – 1835). Four survived to adulthood, at which point they were freed. Sally Hemings was of mixed ancestry and the children were “seven-eighths European in ancestry” and white in appearance. (See Sally Hemings, Wikipedia.)  But he did not free Sally Hemings. She would have been auctioned off, had Jefferson’s daughter, Martha Washington Jefferson Randolph, not freed her.

George W. Bush

I also told Micheline that, although former US President George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946) adhered, knowingly or unknowingly, to the concept of the “Manifest Destiny” (see Manifest Destiny, Wikipedia), after the events of 9/11, former President G. W. Bush may have felt very distraught which could have led him to enter Iraq, a sovereign country. He was the President of the United States, its Commander-in-Chief, the US had been attacked by terrorists, and he had been influenced by the “Manifest Destiny.” 

And now we have learned that former President G. W. Bush did not know how far he could go too far. He let the NSA (National Security Agency) monitor the telephones of allies of the United States. If an individual adheres to the notions set forth in the “Manifest Destiny,” there is a risk that individual will not know that his or her rights end where the rights of others begin.  

President George W. Bush may not have been as great a president as Thomas Jefferson, but I’m quite certain he will never be made to answer for his actions. All is right under the mantle of the “Manifest Destiny,” which is why Micheline fears the notion of exceptionalism


“Don’t worry, Micheline, President Obama will do all that is needed to regain the confidence of his allies. Yes, some people will use this opportunity to fault him, but it will not work.  Too large a number of United States citizens will see the truth. What is really sad, Micheline, is that we have extremists right here who threaten Canadian unity.” 

Remember McCarthyism

“The term McCarthyism, coined in 1950 in reference to Joseph McCarthy‘s practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist activities. Today the term is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.” (See Joseph McCarthy, Wikipedia.)

The bottom line, Belaud said, is that one can fully expect citizens who insist on carrying firearms also to monitor their friend’s telephone conversations.


[i] Weeks, William Earl, Building the continental empire: American expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War (Ivan R. Dee, 1996).
The Little Drummer Boy, by William Morris Hunt, 1862
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Manifest Destiny

© Micheline Walker & Belaud
29 October 2013