“Apocolypse Now”—Always Near to Some

Two days ago Senator Ted Cruz presented his stock-issue tale of woes, wrapping it up by saying, “Your world is on fire!” An alarmed three-year old girl in the crowd innocently asked, to no one in particular, “Is the world on fire?” As the crowd chuckled, Cruz tried to soften the blow with an answer but he had done his damage. This young sweetie had implanted in her innocent little heart the knowledge that the world is a dangerous place and doom is near at any moment.

Well, the world is a dangerous place and “doom” is possible any moment in that misfortune or even death is always a possibility. But Mr. Cruz and his fear-mongering allies know that trotting out a litany of woes and emphasizing impending doom is a perfect way to impact the old-brain fear-base that we all have and is especially predominant in his party’s base. Now three-year old children are very impressionable but so are these “low-information” voters that predominate the extreme of Cruz’s party. I, too, have a fear-base but I also have a neo-cortex that allows meta-cognition and the ability to formulate a hopeful scenario even in the face of apparent “doom.” For example, I am aging and the River Styx is fast approaching but this dreadful notion is not as frightening to me as I’m able to approach the end of life with hope. (So far, anyway!)

Being a Christian like Mr. Cruz, I subscribe to the notion that “Perfect love casteth out fear” but I think this should disallow fear as a political ploy. Though not a politician, I do not have any reason to subscribe to, much less constantly promulgate, a litany of woes when there is so much to be grateful for and so many opportunities before me. But, if I was a politician in the Republican Party, I too would probably have “drank the kool-aid” and know that fear-mongering…or “catastrophizing”…was the sure-fire way of winning over the base of my party. Certainly the ills of our society and of the world need to be addressed, but focusing on these issues to roil the masses is cheap and even tawdry.

 

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2 thoughts on ““Apocolypse Now”—Always Near to Some

  1. jonolan

    Those who ignore or stay silent upon the fact that catastrophe and doom are just around the corner are part of the problem and the evil that causes that problem. Catastrophe and doom are always just around the corner, awaiting only the time when enough of you demand that they be not mentioned or prevented.

    Now, it’s true that “Perfect love casteth out fear.” Yet, isn’t damnably selfish to care more for your perfect love and hope as you go to judgement than for the people you will soon leave behind to face the hazards and likely dooms that await them?

    Also, isn’t by far better to exhort people to come together to wage war against ills of our society and of the world than to attempt to bring them together under your party’s banner by offering them material things and the privilege of avoiding the consequences of their choices?

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    1. 21stcenturyxstian Post author

      I appreciate your thoughtful and well-articulated response. I have a follow up post that might further address your concerns. But I think the issue that separates us here is “the factual.” In my experience, I have found that that which has been “factual” in my life has often been merely an expression of how I prefer to see the world, a preference that has always excluded too many others.

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