Or at least they hope it will
Once upon a time, one used to see many examples of what used to be a favorite theme of cartoonists: the man with a "The End is Nigh" sign. An amusing mid-century metaphor for delusion.
It isn't funny any more because not only has he been cleaned up, not only does he have a blog and a TV show and syndicated radio program, but because we believe him. Preparing for Armageddon is an American way of life in our brave new century. Embedded in so many things I see on line, are endless warnings of financial Armageddon: the Germans want their gold back and we don't have it and ohmygod! The Dollar will be worthless by the end of the year. Obama will confiscate your guns any day now because he wants to confiscate the food you're stockpiling in your bunker because our food supply is going to collapse by the end of the year. Don't believe what you see, what you read and especially what "the government" tells you because all governments lie, all the time and the only truth is what you read in these endless screeds. It's the end of the world, or it soon will be -- unless you buy this book or that video and become a survivor. Unless you buy guns, sell gold, buy food, buy gold, hide guns, tune in, turn off and gimme your money, it's all over but the whimper.
These are the good times for the end times and if people are still laughing at the seething, howling, end of the world bombast, I'm not seeing it. People are terrified that something's happening here, but they don't know what it is. It's high time for the hucksters and the politics of terror they rode in on.
"In my latest research, I uncovered four shocking signs that a cataclysmic collapse will happen sometime in the next 18 months or less."
Maybe, but I'm not burying gold and guns in the backyard just yet and I'm not sending this 'entrepreneur' any money. Hey, if it's gonna be worthless by August, why does he want it?
"a massive economic catastrophe unlike anything ever seen before."
"The resulting chaos is going to crush Americans."
Sure, without a doubt and right before GODzilla returns to stomp all over Tokyo, or whatever he does. Right before the Mother Ship returns and Jesus the Hulk turns green and the 12th Imam shows up on Fox and Friends.
Maybe it's only that the growth of the web has given every greedy idiot, every charlatan the ability to be in everyone's face all the time, but the results are worse than the great milking and bilking of the pissing-in-its-pants public. Add it to the mighty GOP attempt to destabilize the economy and destroy the evil African horror in the White House that is Fox; the malediction may fulfill itself.
"They're going to collectivize our children."
"Slaveholders were all Liberal Democrats"
No lie is too big, too ridiculous for the sufficiently fearful to believe. All that matters is fulfilling the Great American Death Wish. But you know, it's you they expect to suffer. It's not you they are trying to help and if there is indeed a catastrophe, if the resulting chaos is going to crush anybody, it isn't them. And if you believe what they're selling, you'll get what you pay for.