Well, the corn and burgers and hotdogs have been eaten, the fireworks have boomed, and now it's time to get back to worrying about the future. Normally I would now be thinking more about golf tournaments coming up on TV or what additional debris the huge sycamore tree in front of the house will deposit on my lawn this month. But things like celebrating freedom and liberty starts to make you think. So thinking I've been doing.
I've been thinking about the future, and in particular about 2012. Not about the coming presidential election (at least not at first) but about the Mayan calendar and the predictions of the end of the world coming on December 21, 2012. Now, I have to make a confession. I tend to watch a fair amount of science based TV. Discovery Channel, Science Channel, History Channel and National Geographic offer many interesting shows during the summer and other repeat seasons, so I've seen a pretty good cross section over the past few months. If I didn't know any better, and I do, you would think that our lovely blue planet is primed and ready to end, maybe in just a couple of years
I've seen giant rocks from space and mega-volcanoes take us out. Nuclear winter or out of control global warming (see Venus) might be the end of us. Global pandemic sounds like fun, as does sea level rise of a couple hundred feet. And there are plenty more. So, at least for people who watch science TV, things look pretty bad. But, what about the general public, you ask? Well, there was that little movie (2012) and some other movies (The Day After Tomorrow, for example) so clearly the idea has entered the general public's radar view. Of course, look on the internet and there's lots of talk and opinions.
So, I think we can agree that a lot of people are aware that there are predictions of the end of the world in 2012. Now, just to be clear, I personally don't put any stock at all in such predictions. But I do see another concern for this country in 2012; the presidential election intersecting a growing, militant segment of our society and the belief by some, which could grow to many, that bad stuff is going to happen in the near future. Say in December of 2012. The latter part of that statement is based upon the theory of the self fulfilling prophecy. If enough people believe something awful is going to happen, they might act in a way that creates something awful.
Let's say that a lot of people believe the 2012 prophecy and they start partying like the end of the world is around the corner. Selling their homes and cars and other goods and booking trips they always wanted to take. Or quitting jobs and pulling kids out of school to hide in a bunker. Or looting and rioting likes its the end of time. Each of these could bring on some of the very bad things that people fear. Add in a volcano or earthquake and things could get very dicey. But I did mention the election, didn't I.
The tea party movement, the militia movements, the gun rights folks and the sovereign citizen movement are all recruiting and spreading. The huge increase in gun purchases after President Obama's election fits into this concern. So what is it I'm worried about?
My worry is that, as the 2012/end of the world talk builds during that year, and as the already heated political atmosphere gets worse (that's hard to believe) leading up to the election, we could see some very awful things happening. My real fear is that an Obama reelection will set off the militant groups and the tea parties and they will act to "take their country back," as they keep saying on signs and bumper stickers. I worry about an actual attempt at insurrection or a coup attempt. If the world is ending anyway, what's the difference and if it doesn't end, well then they will be sure that they saved the country from a horrible fate. Either way, it sets up a very dangerous time for all of us. Bring on the giant rock from space and cue the mega-volcano!