If you have ever been slightly intrigued about Obama’s constant use of “transformative,” then you might have considered that along with “transgressive” and “hegemony,” “transformative” is one of the are three very common words in the now somewhat passe literary criticism called deconstruction or just “theory.” This academic discipline was all the rage in the top-flight colleges and universities among the baby boomers and probably hangs on as an outlier in many English/Language/Literature Departments today.
Deconstruction developed after WW II as a reaction to the first world wars’ mechanized dehumanization, the horror of the Holocaust, and the colonialism of the defeated and worn-out countries of Europe in the mid-20th C. Jean Paul Sartre’s Existentionalism also influenced Deconstruction, with its amoral view that actions and choices had no moral value and any direction anyone took was equally moral in a world where nether good nor evil functioned.
On the pr level, Deconstruction became multiculturalism, where supposedly, all cultures and societies are equal in value, but in reality, in order to transform us from the hegemony of the West, particularly the British who had a huge oppressive empire and the US that after WW II had all the gold in the world in Ft. Knox, Western Civilization and Christianity had to be deconstructed and destroyed. Any and all other forms of culture were equal, or even superior, so debates about whether a slave diary rivaled Shakespeare or whether Lincoln was really a racist began to filter into teacher education and into public school education.
Obama talks like a leftover lit prof deep into transformative progress where Dante is relegated to one of the circles of his own Hell, while the transgressive radicals of the Muslim Brotherhood become the focus of light and learning that Egypt needs to change her from a relatively pro-Western Middle Eastern state to her true multicultural position of the now un-marginalized third world, or probably for Egypt, second world.
When the great museums of Egypt came under assault, unlike the furor that claimed Bush was allowing the treasures of Iraq to be raided and trashed in 2003, no one responded except local Egyptians and some of their army who linked themselves into a chain outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to preserve the 1000s of years of history represented by the artifacts and objects d’arte saved by years of research and archeology. You certainly didn’t hear Obama calling for cool heads and consideration of the vast vaults of scholarship Egypt holds, but every day he speaks of transformation, as he spoke of transforming America to adoring crowds back in the halcyon days of 2008.
Our esteemed president is even more radical than anyone the Limbaughs or Hannity and Beck have descried, because he sees enforcing the world into a view of dissolution of order and the promotion of chaos and deconstruction outside the laboratory of English lit but in the real world of all of our lives. While he flagrantly flies more often than most other presidents put together and has some fete at the White House every three days, enjoying all the fruits and prosperity of Western and American culture, he wants and expects the rest if us and the entire world to turn into an upside down Alice Through the Looking Glass where the suicidal and maniacal seize power and rule in some distorted belief that the dead (and living) white men will be paid back and social justice will transformatively prevail.