And so maybe its fitting that we Americans have apocalyptic leaders for these apocalyptic times. Just when life on Earth appears more gravely threatened than ever, our most powerful leaders act like madmen: aggressive war without end, lawless surveillance at home, jealously defending the right to torture, gluttonously plundering the planets remaining energy deposits, and carefully coding their rhetoric to appeal to the most apocalyptic of constituencies, the Revelations vote. Its poetic justice for a species cursed with such hubris.
Some karmic blowback is homing in on us. As astrologer Rob Brezsny sings, The spirits of the earth are so hungry for justice, they cry. Who you gonna call? Will we put a stop to this psychotic leadership? Will we rise to restore sanity to our society, justice to our grotesquely unequal, staggeringly indebted economy? Will we redirect our focus away from courting Armageddon with military misadventures, and towards rescuing the planets life-support systems?
You might think that an appeal of this type, in favor of sanity and against apocalypse, could be a potent political formula in upcoming U.S. elections a winning frame, to use the current lingo. If only we had a party that could run on such a platform, or even make a pretense of reaching out to that part of the electorate actually opposed to apocalypse. There is, in fact, a visible and growing anti-apocalypse movement usually referred to in corporate media as the anti-globalization movement.
Its no wonder that the Democrats remain lost in the wilderness with muted voices, garbled syntax and an incoherent message. Historically, the party has been strongest when its leaders have made alliances of convenience with movements for social justice, as FDR did with labor and rural activists in the 1930s, and JFK did with civil rights leaders in the 1960s. Many Americans cherish the myth of the two-party system: that one party represents the interests of the corporate class while the other endeavors to represent the interests of ordinary citizens, or at least appears to accommodate or co-opt peoples movements. Todays Democrats, running scared from the clearest voices and sanest ideas in our public debate, need to realize that this myth provides their winning frame, their only hope.
And as for us, theres the old cliche' that if the people lead, the leaders will follow. With the odor of apocalypse hanging heavy in the zeitgeist, we Americans have an overwhelming responsibility, and privilege. Only those registered to vote in the USA have any chance to pull the levers that can slow down this bullet train to the end of the world. We cant afford to tune out in apathy or despair, for we are representing the clear and urgent demands of this whole sanity-starved world, as well as two other great world powers the plant and animal kingdoms.