For years I have received letters written as elegantly as ransom notes, advising me of certain worldwide conspiracies. Sometimes the writing instrument of choice has been a crayon.
The most dangerous conspirators, said many of the scribblers, were the Jews, who allegedly were intent on dominating the world's finances and everything else, which would be remarkable, given their small number. Then it was the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission that supposedly were conspiring individually and collectively to ruin America through their secret meetings and conspiratorial plotting. I dismissed these because I know members of both and found at least those I knew to be patriotic Americans. To conspiracists, that either made me "one of them," or it made me a dupe.
I consigned all the letters to the same file, File 13, which held other bogus conspiracies, from the late atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair's alleged attempts to ban religious broadcasting, to the "fluoridation is a commie plot" campaign of the '50s to GM's supposed "death car," which was said to cause the demise of whoever owned it, to the one about alligators in the New York City sewer system that bit women when they used public toilets.
Recently, though, I have been giving more serious consideration to another "conspiracy" that seems to be growing legs. It is the conspiracy of one-world government. As governments increasingly demand more power to direct and shape our future by mandating how we live (not to mention their increasing invasiveness with cameras, wiretaps and other forms of "monitoring"), those who believe in individual liberty are on the defense.
On Dec. 8, columnist Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times (www.ft.com) wrote as if he, too, is a reluctant conspiracist, listing themes related to global concerns: a global financial crisis, "global warming" and the global war on terror. He also pointed to the obvious shrinkage of the world through communication. In this, he is of the same frame of mind as Thomas Friedman in his book "The World is Flat."
Rachman quoted Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey: "For the first time in human history, world government of some sort is now possible." Blainey forecasts its establishment as some time in the next 200 years. I think it could arrive much sooner.
The European Union might be Barack Obama's model, as could the United Nations. In nominating his top campaign aide, Susan Rice, to be America's UN ambassador, Obama also announced his intention to raise the post to cabinet rank. In his book, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama wrote, "When the world's sole superpower willingly restrains its power and abides by internationally agreed-upon standards of conduct, it sends a message that these rules are worth following."
In fact, the message it sends is that the ideas and ideals which made America unique in the world are no longer worth following, because in a one-world government, the United States would inevitably have to compromise its beliefs, laws, faith and everything else that makes it unique. European and Third World leaders would effectively be running the show. Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, not president of a world order, or worse, one of many equals among one of many nations that are nothing special.
It's bad enough to have the Democratic Congress dictating to Detroit and borrowing money from the Chinese to keep automakers afloat, as they make cars fewer people want. It would be something far worse to have a world body pass laws that require Americans to live by standards they would never choose for themselves.
Rachman concluded on an optimistic note. Noting that even within the EU, a one-world government remains unpopular, he wrote, "The world's most pressing political problems may indeed be international in nature, but the average citizen's political identity remains stubbornly local."
Maybe, but if we get too many "global" crises happening at once, the clamor for a one-world government to bring order, even at the expense of liberty, may be too strong for some politicians to resist.
So, yes, I'm starting to believe in the possibility of one-world government and it should be vigorously opposed if America, as we know it, is to be preserved.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.