Wall Street WARZONE

The Real Clash-of-Civilizations: Obama, “Fallen Messiah,” vs the GOP’s “End-of-Days” Prophets! Amen!

by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| | 4/9/2010

Yes, the new “Clash of Civilizations” is being fought on American soil. We saw this coming when we wrote about America’s oil addiction and the sparring between Amadenajad and the Christian Right back in 2006. The press loves this kind of juicy warmongering even more than the Book of Revelations and End of Days stuff speculating on a WWIII between Christianity and Islamic nations. But watch out: The fallout, the collateral damage from this home-grown “clash of civilizations” will further sabotage the free-market capitalism that’s been tied for decades to the ideologies of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Greenspan, Bush and Reaganomics. And worse, damage the economy and the American dream for generations. 

What’s the future? Start with Max Blumenthal new book,  Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. This could be a manual written by General Petraeus about an accelerating military conflict. But it’s Blumenthal’s next chapters that will capture the real drama of the clash. We get a hint in ”Obama, The Fallen Messiah” on his website where Blumenthal also exposes the liberal left’s side of this homespun cultural war that’s become more religious than political, and more dangerous:

During a time of economic decline, persistent cultural strife, deepening American involvement in far-off military conflicts, and rapid environmental deterioration, is there any wonder that some have turned to apocalyptic salvation narratives promising both a transcendent, everlasting future and violent retribution against perceived evildoers? A 2002 CNN poll found that 59% of Americans believe that the prophecies in the Book of Revelations will come true. The startling number reflected the still-fresh trauma of the 9/11 attacks, but I suspect that it has held steady, if not risen. Indeed, mainstream American culture is permeated by apocalypticism; the blockbuster movie hit 2012 is but one recent example.

I spend several chapters in my book following the Christian right’s ascent to the mountain top with George W. Bush’s re-election, detailing how the movement shrouded science and reason in the shadow of the cross, then observing as it swiftly imploded during the Terri Schiavo charade. Because I completed my book days after Barack Obama’s inauguration, I was only able to foreshadow the right’s plan to undermine the new president. Having watched the right attempt to delegitimize and literally overthrow Bill Clinton for eight years, I did not harbor any illusions about Obama transcending partisan division by becoming the “liberal Reagan who can reunite America,” as many argued.

What I did not include in my book was any sense of where the Democratic left was going, or how this movement had developed its own salvation narrative during the Bush era. Only a presidency as destructive and radical as Bush’s could have produced such deep levels of anxiety and desperation among progressives. When the Democratic primary began, some progressives seemed to ache for a secular messiah to descend from the political heavens, reverse Bush’s disastrous legacy and save the country from itself.

In their quest for a savior, progressives discovered Barack Obama. “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,” Obama proclaimed in his book, The Audacity of Hope. As Obama’s primary battle against Hillary Clinton intensified, his rhetoric and the language of his supporters grew increasingly messianic. At a rally in South Carolina, Oprah Winfrey referred to Obama as “The One,” a fusion of Jesus and Neo from The Matrix. When Obama defeated Clinton in Iowa, he quoted from a Hopi Indian End Times prophecy that had become popular among New Agers: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Moved to the point of ecstasy by Obama’s victory speech, Ezra Klein declared the candidate, “not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of the word over flesh… Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our higher selves.”

Blumenthal is another great “journalist” covering the Wall Street warzone. Expect more in the near future on this home-grown “Clash of Civilizations” whose religious fervor is certain to damage capitalism and the economy, and further lessen America as a global power.

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