The aliens wanted to be taken to our leader. The problem was, there was no leader. Though the alien spaceship destroyed a large Pacific island to get our attention, then demanded to speak to the President of the United States, this was the late twenty-first century and there was not even a United States anymore, let alone a president. Long after the U.S. and Russia had clobbered each other, the American continent was a tributary of China. When the aliens were unwilling to talk to anyone but the U.S. President, a rice-cultivator from Heavenly Grain Collective Farm (in Mississippi) was quickly selected to be the President and envoy to the aliens. Whether he wanted to be or not.