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End Times In The United States

US congresswoman Michele Bachmann who recently claimed that the United States was in the "End Times" a reference to Christian fundamentalist belief in a future global apocalypse
US congresswoman Michele Bachmann who recently claimed that the United States was in the “End Times” a reference to Christian fundamentalist belief in a future global apocalypse

While some in the United States believe their nation is perched on the cusp of a very literal biblical apocalypse (step forward congresswoman Michelle “End Times” Bachmann) others seem intent on recreating an old struggle in a new century. From David Sirota’s article on Salon:

“Thanks to a confluence of three events, the S-word — secession — is once again in the air. In Washington, new questions are emerging about whether the United States can function as a unified nation after a partial government shutdown was engineered by a largely regional party — one whose home territory looks eerily similar to the Confederacy. Adding to the questions about the viability of the post-Civil War union is the fact that the shutdown has been orchestrated by a Texas legislator whose state party stalwarts — including its governor — seem to support secession, to the point of taking concrete legislative steps to prepare for independence. On top of all that, in states across the country, incipient secession movements have sprung up only a few months after secession petitions flooded the White House website.

In his seminal book “Better Off Without ‘Em,” Chuck Thompson marshals data to argue that America would benefit by letting the Republican Party and its strongholds formally secede from the country. Whether or not you end up agreeing with Thompson, the argument he forwards is compelling on the policy merits. It also raises an important but less-explored political question: Why would today’s conservatives want to formally secede from a nation that gives them the privilege of governing the whole country, even though they remain in the electoral minority and even though their policy agenda is opposed by a majority of the country?”

All of which looks quite familiar to Irish eyes. A small minority of the country’s population using intimidation and violence, religion and racism, to thwart the democratic wishes of the majority. Has anyone in the Tea Party movement mentioned partition yet?

11 comments on “End Times In The United States

  1. Ìoghnadh chan eil orm, oir nach eil an aon shinnsearachd aig luchd-taice nam Republicans anns na Stàitean Aonaichte ‘sa mhòr-chuid is a th’ aig luchd-taice nam buidhnean Òraindseach ann an Ceann a’ Tuath (Tuaisceart) na h-Éireann, fhad ‘s as fiosrach mi a thaobh eachdraidh luchd-àiteachaidh nan Stàitean mu Dheas?


  2. Anns a’ Bheurla / as Béarla: “Surprised I am not, for do not in most cases the supporters of the US Republicans (uttter right-wing, tea-party-) have the same ancestry as the supporters of the Orangist groups in Ireland’s North, as far as I have knowledge of the Southern settlers’ history?”

    Addition: “birds of a feather sticking together”, as you rightly quoted in a Scottish context recently – and the US right-wing Evangelicals are of the same brand, and flock, as the hard-core Unionist militants in the Six Counties (and Scotland, sadly)…in one of your recent posts, as far as I remember, you correctly drew a paralel to the notorious KKK…


    • Thanks for the translation, Ascail, much appreciated and my apologies for the necessity.

      There are some studies in the US recently highlighting the seeming correspondence between the geographical spread of majority support for the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement and the heartlands of the old Confederacy. While I think one can go too far in the comparison there is definitely something there though not necessarily all to do with racism as such (it is as much a cultural thing as well, not to mention the poorer socio-economic conditions of the southern US, higher levels of visible immigration, etc.).

      The KKK and the Orange Order comparison is a rather telling one, especially given the Scots-Irish cultural roots of the ante-bellum South. I examined some of that here.


  3. The Republicans aren’t to blame for the partial government shutdown. We have a president and senate who are completely unwilling to negotiate a compromise. Contrary to the beliefs of some, there are plenty of Roman Catholic, conservative, 32-county supporting Americans of young Irish descent. The severity of this shutdown is being played up by the Democratic government like a broadway musical. It’s obvious to most Americans who is to blame.


    • Thanks for the Comment, Ryan. Certainly the perception here in Ireland and elsewhere is that Republican congressmen bound to the Tea Party movement are to blame though there is an element of stubbornness and grandstanding on both sides.

      You are of course right, there are many people in the US who vote conservative or centre-right who are supportive of a reunited Ireland, such as Congressman King.


  4. I don’t know that all Tea Party types can be categorized into a single cohesive group. From what I’ve gathered through interaction with members and observation, there appears to be a small segment that is well versed in tenets of the US Constitution and are able to articulately discuss why they believe American political parties have strayed far from the original intent of our Founders. There is a much larger segment, in my opinion, which is simply being led by demagogues and/or has embraced Tea Party ambitions for darker purposes.

    I do know that there are many Catholics, secularists and other folks that we here in the States would classify as “non-Scots-Irish,” meaning they’re not descended from Protestants from Ireland or Scotland, who put stock in the Tea Party.

    Personally, I believe the movement is similar to the “Moral Majority” effort of the 1980s, and will eventually follow a similar path into oblivion.


    • I thought myself that the Tea Party movement would eventually blow itself out much like the Moral Majority push in the 1980s or the militia scare in the 1990s. These types of populist or extremist political movements are cyclical.

      However the Tea Party/uber-conservative political classes seem to have withstood the winds that blew up around them post Obama’s re-election. I though they would fade into history. If anything they seem just as strong.

      Are we seeing the off-spring of all those Christian evangelical colleges founded in the 1980s that used to be so derided now rising to positions of power? Their avowed purpose was to turn out the “right” type of politicians, journalists and business folk in the pursuit of what Communists used to call entryism. We have Fox News, we have the Tea Party movement, we have a hijacked Republican Party…


      • Fox News is simply a market reaction to the longtime domination of left-of-center dominated news networks in the US. There was an opening for something different than CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, etc., and Fox filled it, and has made a bundle of money doing so. Many of the politicians who are Tea Party darlings are little more than opportunists who are willing to throw their lot in with whatever group will push them to power. Not all, mind you, but many. Ron Paul, for all his flaws, has been a long time iconoclast, just as Bernie Saunders has been on the opposing side. But most are simply riding the wave of anti-big government sentiment to what will likely be long, long tenures in office, the same long tenures that their “big government” predecessors had.

        I’m not really sure about the impact of the Christian colleges. They are, for the most part, still a bit player in the American higher education system. And while I do know some folks who have sent their kids to such schools, it was more for the environment rather than any political reason.

        One thing you are dead on about is that the Republican Party has been hijacked. They’ve painted themselves in a corner and think they can bluster their way out.


  5. Didn’t the radical Irish nationalist John Mitchel support the confederacy in the civil war/War between the states or whatever nomeklature the respective parties use. He seemed to have fallen out with the fenian brotherhood over it.


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