Toyama Koichi and the Age of Reason

Toyama Koichi, living in Japan, has made a claim that he is the rightful president of the United States. Of course he’s a jokester or a mental deficient one would naturally assume. After watching a video of him making his pitch, I believe that he could be one or the other. I also think he might be a brilliant thinker, making a point about American imperialism and hegemony.

Koichi makes his point by asserting the fact that he loves America and considers himself to be a citizen of the United States, and was shocked to find out that he was barred from voting for president due to the fact that he lives in Japan. His line of reasoning then goes that if the United States occupies other nations, has military presence in those countries, impacts their economies, their ways of life, and more, then the rest of the world is part of the United States. If the entire world is treated as if it belongs to the United States, then the citizens of the world, all 6 billion of them, should have a say in the running of the country under whose rule they effectively live.

While this is of course absurd, there is a certain cogency to his thinking. If America is exerting its influence, economically, socially, morally, and militarily over the entire planet of 6 billion, and yet only about 200 million people in the United States are eligible to vote, how can we claim to be a democracy? We invaded Iraq, according to the fourth or fifth line of reasoning of the Bush Administration, to bring democracy to that country. Oh, at first it was the Al Qaeda connection that could just never be established, and then it was the WMDs that were never found, then it was about deposing Saddam, and I guess finally, the democracy thing. But, following Koichi’s reasoning, it can’t be democracy because the people of Iraq have no voice as to who runs the policies that effect their lives.

He further makes the point that if only 1/30th of the population of the planet, which he claims is all part of America due to the influence it holds, then everyone who doesn’t vote can be assumed to oppose that undemocratic system. This is where his idea is a little shaky, but still makes his point. He opines that he then considers all of those who didn’t vote to be doing so in a form of protest of that system. Koichi extrapolates all of those non votes into the concept of a movement of which he claims leadership. Therefore all the votes not cast from among the 6 billion persons on Earth belong, by default, to him.

Maybe a little megalomaniacal if he really believes it. But very logical in his conclusion based on that premise. At least logical in a manner of thinking, not logical in the classic sense of provable logic. He concludes that while McCain and Obama each received tens of millions of votes, and he claims all the rest, he is the rightful President of the United States. His only agenda is either to give all the citizens of the world a vote in the American electoral process, or to give them back their autonomy of their own nations and to stop using them as American territory.

He could have railed about American imperialism or the American empire as many around the globe do, including a lot of Americans. I find his method of making the point to be simple to understand, satirical, humorous, and maybe a little crazy, but the point is valid.

Whether Koichi is deranged and believes his premise, is a comedic genius disarming American hegemony with humor, or a great thinker using reason and logic as his arsenal, I do not know. What I do know is, he has opened an interesting line of dialog for anyone who chooses to think about what he has to say.