The End Is Near?

All across the Worldwide Web, you can find websites, blogs and videos announcing the impending “End of Obama.” Some have been created by fanatical Christian groups that are convinced President Obama is a Muslim. Some have been created by white supremacy groups and other racist thugs who dislike the color of his skin. Some have been created by fraudsters determined to scare you out of your money.

We have pundits predicting the demise of democracy if Obama is allowed to implement his agenda. (Never mind that Obama was democratically elected – not once, but twice.) They predict that he will single-handedly lead us into economic disaster. Some of these predictions come from right wing radio hosts looking to scare up higher ratings. Some are pushed by right wing politicians determined to scare people into voting for them.

The two things that connect all of these dire (and unfounded) predictions are fear and hatred.

This is really not a new phenomenon. We’ve had doomsayers for centuries. But nobody actually took them seriously…until now. They used to be the subject of ridicule and smirks. They used to stand on street corners holding signs and shouting to themselves until the people in white coats put them in straight jackets and carted them off. They used to hide deep in the woods never to be heard from again. But now we make TV shows and movies about them. Worse yet, we elect them to office.

Today, we have people such as Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz and Tea Party caucus leader Michele Bachmann warning of the end times. We hear dozens of bombastic right wing preachers and televangelists predicting dire consequences if we don’t do as they say and send them money. We have TV “reality shows” rating the ability of “Doomsday Preppers” to build bunkers, stash food and map escape routes. We have gun “collectors” storing arsenals of weapons and ammo that would put the armies of many small countries to shame. We have Tea Party fear mongers warning of UN troops in black helicopters coming to take away our freedoms. And we have right wing billionaires funding TV commercials warning that “Obamacare” is the “end of liberty.”

Is this really what Americans have become as a people? A nation of ninnies afraid of a shadow – especially if that shadow is cast by a black man? Has the “land of the free and the home of the brave” become the land of the hateful and the cowards? If so, we better commission someone to write a new national anthem.

The generation of my parents fought the Great Depression and World War II with the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt ringing in their ears, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” If they were called The Greatest Generation, what should we call the generations of today?