http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zombies_in_Moscow.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zombies_in_Moscow.jpg

To understand what’s going on in Washington today, you’ve got to understand the zombification of the Republican right wing. By that I don’t mean that Ted Cruz and company have become zombies, but rather have come to see themselves as under assault by them.

The zombies used to be us — creatures formerly known as Americans. Once upon a time, we were all pretty much hardworking yeoman farmers. We went to church, we helped our neighbors, we didn’t expect the government to do anything much to help us out.

But about a century ago, things started to go wrong: the redistributive income tax, regulation of private enterprise, the welfare state, secularization. We began to be transformed from self-reliant Christians into walking dead, hungering after the substance of others.

Still, as late as late 1980s, maybe even the early 2000s, the zombies were outnumbered, and could be defeated by the living — silent, moral — majority. But no longer. Now the takers are everywhere, electing Obama (twice!), sucking our brains with their government mandated health care, their comprehensive immigration reform, their war on religion. They are the ultimate Nones, spreading their unbelief through the population.

The insidious thing, of course, is their ability to turn any one of us into one of them — not just the John McCains and the Mitt Romneys but the Paul Ryans and the Rand Pauls and the Marco Rubios. Before they do the same to you and me, we must take them out, even if they used to be friends and family.

Once we thought that the Constitutional Republic of the Founding Fathers could be restored. Now that’s looking less and less likely. So we’ll stick to our guns (and Bibles), barricade ourselves in the House, and let the Zombie Apocalypse come. And if we go down fighting, well, remember the Alamo.

Categories: Politics

Mark Silk

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service

4 Comments

  1. That’s one way to look at it — and it still all boils down to an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ — the chosen, the righteous, the patriotic, the True American — and those who aren’t like them. Once one can demonize an segment via facile determinants, then dialogue becomes useless and the only way to survive is to maintain purity and steadfastness of purpose by squeezing the sponge tighter and tighter until only the pure remain, no matter how small a number.

    They truly hold to the idea embodied in the Margaret Mead quote: “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” They are the committed, the rest of us are the ones who need to be led whether we like it or not.

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