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'Rapture Politics' Harnesses Rightwing to Doomsday Horsemen

By       Message Robert S. Becker       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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Pick your apocalypse, for the futures market is booming. Rebel yells of doom and gloom outstrip the Rapture, that mixed bag of redemption for the elect -- and the End of Everything for everyone else. For skittish pessimists, even getting to 2050 (the real come to Jesus moment, for some) could be a reach -- what with ominous asteroids, earthquakes, and eruptions, plus firestorms, loose nukes, pandemics or more Boston massacres.

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Doomsters, take your mark, ready soap boxes and raise megaphones: "the sky is falling." Is that our drone or heavenly fire and brimstone? No joke, as the sky is falling, and heaven appears out to get us. A 45' wide meteorite, happily composed of more rock than denser iron, endangered a million Russians this February. Only its composition and low incoming angle averted calamity.


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Closer to home, rightwing Rapture Politics grinds on, as our capitol shenanigans bespeak capital crimes. Forget the  wordplay: the end is nigh for America's golden age, so say old, white, conservative males in retreat. For the left, democracy crumbles as concentrated power turns elections and news cycles into manic entertainment dramas. Capitalism, the only global religion, wobbles thanks to derivative-crazed Wall Street traders and outer limits to "limitless growth." What happens when banks go bust and bankrupt governments can't bail themselves out?


Capitol Politics, Capital Punishment


All in all, is it any wonder that Republican politics channel death trips out of Revelation, in fact heaven's invincible Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Are we shocked this foursome -- representing Conquest, War, Famine, and Death -- informs anti-life national platforms that elevate avarice above community and compassion? Beyond daffy Ayn Rand, neo-liberal economists, even much of Christianity, the GOP is rigidly fixated against forces of life, citizen safety and the general pursuit of happiness.


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Overseas, Conquest and War, alongside Death, still drive intact neo-con mindsets, unfazed by Bush-Cheney debacles. Yes, this syndrome infects top Democrats, yet they're at least mopping up, however erratically, our double indemnities in Asia. Overall, the Four Horsemen more aptly model how Cheney's empire punished insubordinate foreign states. Defy the Pax Americana, chimed Bush war-mongers, and brimstone will soon follow mere boycotts. Nothing captures the Conquest/War/Death mania better than John McCain's irrational call to "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" -- and that threat is still on the table.


What marks rightwing Rapture Politics isn't simply fondness for misguided militarism but the smug, self-righteous superiority brought to the task. War transcends cost, reputation, or geopolitical leverage, justified instead by retribution folly by which western goodness defeats (foreign) wickedness. Bottom-line, the ultimate, collective message from Iraq and Afghanistan: challenge the empire and face incandescent, doomsday-like devastation.


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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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