Do Americans always look for the worst in the best? Is the one thing we universally share with each other a national Death Wish?
In a recent article, author Camille Paglia argued:
Catastrophic weather is built into the American experience. Europeans, with their more moderate, predictable weather, rarely have our terrifying encounters with the sublime. It may be one source, aside from Christian fundamentalism, of the American instinct for the apocalyptic.
I now wonder if the “American Instinct for the Apocalyptic” stretches beyond Christian fundamentalism and into the mainstream, every day, ordinary warp and woof of our lives.
Don’t gun owners have an Apocalyptic view of the world — and that is why they stretch the need for handguns from the home and into the concealed-carry street?
Don’t politicians have an Apocalyptic view of the world — and that is why they use end-of-the-world invocations of terror and demand forced military action against non-threatening nations?
Don’t some young people living in the urban core have an Apocalyptic view of the world — and that is why thy join gangs and create grey market economic systems that only provide for their own narrow self interests?
How many terrible things have been wrought on the earth in a false defense against an impending Apocalyptic — and how many innocent lives were lost, or forever damaged, in that ineffectual, and hateful, effort?