Gene Burns is a Libertarian talk show host on KGO Radio in San Francisco. He's been filling in for Ronn Owens, who also has libertarian, moderately right-wing ideology beliefs, on Ronn's 9 A.M. talk show. Yesterday I heard Gene argue with an Obama-supporting caller, somewhat loudly, that President Obama was not providing leadership. In so many words, Gene argued that if Obama was providing leadership, he would change the direction of the mid-term elections, change the minds of the Right, stop the Tea Party in its tracks and make it ineffective, stop the GOP's coup. Gene is mistaken. Gene is only slightly right of center in American politics, and in that respect, as an intelligent man, he expects reason to prevail. He admittedly voted for Obama. He, like many, voted for hope. And, in most respects, I'm guessing that he agrees with most of what Obama has done, since Obama too is a centrist. But, Gene can't get past the idea that America is now unreasonable; that it has swung to the extreme, driven there by myth, unreasonable beliefs and outright fraud and lies. Gene's brain won't go there. He still believes people are are reasonable, so he's taken up or has been "taken in by" the GOP, Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh mantra: "If you want my support, then show some leadership."
The fact is that there is nothing President Obama can say or do to change the direction of the extremism in the GOP take over and the media blitz promoting it from all directions. They, the Right Wing movement, are determined to force, coerce, obstruct, bribe, pay for or otherwise cause the American Government under President Obama to fail in spite of all of the reasonableness of Obama's actions and accomplishments. I have two questions: 1) What do we expect of a person, Obama, to say or do if there's nothing that can be done in the face of unreasonable, mythological beliefs? and 2) What is, really, at the bottom of the Right Wing extremism? I know the answer to both questions, and so does James Carville. Beneath all of the words spoken in public and the excuses given in the media for the movement, is the unspeakable and an astonishing irony. Carville sees it. So do I. If Gene sees it, he's not capable of acknowledging it. His brain won't accept it. He's denying it.
A few nights ago, James Carville appeared on the Joy Behar Show on CNN, and he said something very enlightening in response to Joy's question in regards to the Right-Wing, Tea Party, anti-Muslim, Quran burning followers, "How can we reach these people? They're crazy!", or words to that effect. Carville's response spoke the unspeakable. It is so unspeakable and so bizarre that the transcript of the show omitted Joy's question and Carville's response. Nobody will admit, aloud, what is really at the core of the movement and at the core of the great fraud. His response was, in so many words, "You can't. They want this. It's the second coming. It's the final war, the Apocalypse, Armageddon, Christian against Muslim when Jesus returns to win over evil. They believe Obama is evil and they don't like him and his 'secret agenda'." James is right. Nobody can reach them or convince them otherwise. They are on a path of self-fulfilling, self-destructive prophecy.
Carville is a very savvy strategist. If he doesn't understand a political movement, he conducts study groups to study the phenomena, such as this one he conducted in Cleveland last year. He analyzes factual data for reasonable conclusions. He gave his report the title "The Very Separate World of Conservative Republicans." I would have given it a different title. I would have titled it "The Republican's Bizarre Universe." What was true then is still true today, except that the movement has grown, become a little more defined and added more reasons to hate both Obama and Muslims. It isn't "racial." It is belief. But, even then, James didn't write in his report what he said to Joy's question, although he probably heard it spoken by the members of the study group. He didn't want to go there, because saying it aloud or publishing it in a report would have made him anti-Christian, a nut, crazy in the eyes of the believers and subject to ridicule.
The most extreme and the most ignorant, and there are many, in the movement believe that Barak Hussein Obama is the "Anti-Christ." His name, Hussein, says it. He's a Muslim, in spite of evidence to the contrary. He's a Kenyan, in spite of a Hawaiian birth certificate. He's smooth, a great talker, a smooth talker, a great orator. He has a "secret agenda." He's a "socialist." He's a good dresser, suave and debonair. He fits the image of the Anti-Christ in the History Channel show, "The Anti-Christ." He fits the image in the Book of Revelations. He fits the image in Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" books no matter that the books are blatant fiction and intended to prey on ignorant beliefs. The signs of the "End of Times" are all around us, in their minds. Given the chance, in a quiet moment of confidentiality, they will tell you that. Others in the movement like to keep their own "End of Times" beliefs to themselves, not quite disbelieving the myth, but not denying it either. They are the fence walkers, willing to follow just in case the prophecy is true.
In fact, you can argue until you're blue in the face that the letters John of Patmos wrote to the Christians of Rome, that became the Book of Revelations, were intended only for those Christians of Rome 2000 years ago. You can tell them that those letters were never intended to be "Prophecy" for the coming times. They won't hear you. You can argue that the symbolism he used was to hide both his and the Christian recipients identities from Roman persecution. You can argue that his symbolism was intended to identify Emperor Nero. All of the knowledgeable historian of that period say so. All of the Greco-Roman-Jewish-Christian anthropologist who study the society of Rome in the days of Nero say so. Even the most learned theologists say so. You can cite all of these sources, but you won't change a single mind or belief.
You can argue until you're blue in the face that the real source of today's End of Times belief was actually a 19th century preacher in England, John Darby, who concocted the first theory of Dispensationalism, a theory that divides the periods of the Bible into "Dispensations" that rationalizes God's relationship with humans. It, of course, explains away the inconsistencies that cannot be reconciled with modernity, so they can continue to believe the myth. You can argue, but you won't change a thing. The belief is too strong, in the Charismatic churches, in the Evangelical movement, in the radical Southern Baptists, in Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, Pat Robertson and Paul and Jan Crouch organizations and Trinity Networks, in the talking in tongues, snake handlers, Quran burners and Muslim haters.
So, what is President Obama to do in the face of mythical beliefs? I don't believe he can do anything. I don't believe anyone labeled as the "Anti-Christ" could do anything. The astonishing irony is, if you know the characters in the myth, such as the "False Prophet," the "Devil's Emissary," and the "Anti-Christ," who is the polar opposite of an honest, compassionate Christ is that Obama is the one who is identified as the Anti-Christ. Wouldn't a false prophet be a liar? Wouldn't an Anti-Christ be without compassion and against the poor, the unemployed and the voiceless? Wouldn't a Devil's Emissary be for pollution, against God's Earth? Wouldn't he or she be against all things Christ spoke of? If all that is true, then who on this Earth today best fits those descriptions? Personally, I wouldn't chose Obama. I would choose Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michele Backmann, Sean Hannity and their ilk as the liars and the frauds of the day. It seems to me that all of the so-called believers are following the wrong leaders. It seems to me that we are on a path of self-fulfilling, self-destructive prophecy based on a lie.
So, if I'm right, does that mean that if God DOES call the faithful to heaven, that He will choose me instead of "them"? Wouldn't that be a kick? I'd like to see the faces of all of those who think THEY will leave me behind when I disappear! It would give me a chance to thank Him, to say, "What a ride! Thank you, God!" Until then, why don't we enjoy the trip? Let's be a little more reasonable and stop believing bullshit.