A sense of impending doom is one of the psychological maladies that the 12-step programs identify as a sign that a person’s addiction has taken them to a place of collapse. The premise is that substance abuse will so alter a person’s body and mind that not only does the body have alarming symptoms, such as shakes, hallucinations, all manner of things, but the mind does as well. A sense of impending doom, a persistent sense of paranoia, is associated with a crack up that is imminent.
Except in Trump world. There, a sense of impending doom is the norm. It is magnified. It is capitalized upon. And the pitch is, if you want to be safe from (fill in the blank) the marauding hordes coming over the border, or the POC or female out to take a job away from you, or any manner of evil you can conceive, you need to give money to the right people. They will protect you. Here is one of the denizens of the Church Of MAGA to tell you how awful it all is.
In a video about why Christians should care about the "invasion" of "bad guys" coming across the southern border, far-right pastor Jack Hibbs asks "when they're across the street, looking at your house with an AK-47 or sword in hand and there's 7 of them, what are you gonna do?" https://t.co/D80WInYHE3 pic.twitter.com/33Lw9qlzpT
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 8, 2024
Right-wing media is quite the marvel. I remember listening to the radio one night about ten years ago. I used to like to listen to talk radio at night. I really used to enjoy the Art Bell show back in the 90’s. In any event, circa 2014, I’m listening to the radio and some woman who claimed to be a lawyer was discoursing on the immediate fall of the dollar. She went on at great length about the banks failing and she made specific reference to Barack Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder.
I remember lying in bed listening to this and wondering “What the hell is she talking about?” Because the simple fact is, that had a fraction of the horrific events that this person was describing had taken place, or even contemplated, it would be front page news. Not just in this country, but all over the world.
This was my first introduction to right-wing conspiracy theory — other than the birther theory which preceded it. And that made a kind of Bizarro World sense because Obama was so hated and feared. But this generalized “the sky is falling and my hair is one fire” approach to broadcasting was something brand new.
Now it is the norm. Right-wing media has done nothing but flourish in the era of Donald Trump. I remember wondering back in 2014, when I heard that an economic catastrophe worse than the Crash of ’29 was going to happen that same week, why do people listen to this? And the only reason I could come up with is because they literally are unable to discern between fact and fantasy. More importantly, they don’t know how the world works enough to know that if any of these earth shattering things that you hear on right-wing media were taking place, the entire world would be on our doorstep watching.
Yet these people, if they’re over the age of 18, get the same voting power as you or I. All the while living in an alternative dream world.
QAnon is the perfect example. QAnon was simply a character and a bunch of strange ideas cobbled together by some technical people who were active on the internet, but it swiftly turned into a cult. And what a cult. Members of that cult stormed the U.S. Capitol. Ashlii Babbitt was heavily into QAnon. She was a Covid denier, an election denier, and over all confrontational loony. It didn’t start with QAnon, however, Babbitt’s mental problems just found a home there.
Babbitt also had a history of confrontational behavior. In 2016, she was charged with reckless endangerment, dangerous driving and malicious property damage in Maryland, but she was later acquitted, according to court records. A former girlfriend of Babbitt’s husband wrote in the application for a protection order against Babbitt that Babbitt had followed her in a car and rear-ended her three times, multiple news outlets reported.
“She was screaming at me and verbally threatening,” the complaint states.
A lot of crazies like Babbitt got involved with politics when Trump came on the scene. And now MAGA, in some form, looks to be here to stay. So look for a lot more Ashlii Babbitts and a lot more “Xian” pastors like the one you heard in the clips above. This is who we are in 2024.