Is John McCain comparing Barack Obama to the anti-Christ?
If you haven't seen it yet, below is a link to the latest McCain attack ad followed by the text from that ad.
NARRATOR: It shall be known that in 2008 the world shall be blessed. They will call him The One.
OBAMA: A nation healed a world repaired we are the ones that we’ve been waiting.
NARRATOR: And he has anointed himself ready to carry the burden of The One. To quote Barack: "I have become a symbol of America returning to our best traditions." He can do no wrong.
CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT LARA LOGAN: Do you have any doubts?
NARRATOR: Can you see the light?
OBAMA: A light will shine down from somewhere. It will alight upon you. You experience an epiphany and you will say to yourself, "I have to vote for Barack."
NARRATOR: And the world will receive his blessings.
OBAMA: This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.
CHARLTON HESTON AS MOSES: Behold His mighty hand!
NARRATOR: Barack Obama may be the one. But is he ready to lead?
As the Red Sea parts under Heston’s outstretched hand, emerging from the deep is the Obama campaign’s version of the presidential seal, which it abandoned after a brief appearance on the campaign trail.
This is what the Obama campaign said in response to the new ad.
"It’s downright sad that on a day when we learned that 51,000 Americans lost their jobs, a candidate for the presidency is spending all of his time and the powerful platform he has on these sorts of juvenile antics," Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said. "Senator McCain can keep telling everyone how proud he is of these political stunts which even his Republican friends and advisers have called childish, but Barack Obama will continue talking about his plan to jumpstart our economy by giving working families $1,000 of immediate relief."
Unfortunately, this nefarious sort of attack may be much more far reaching than just comparing Obama to Moses or some sort of messianic figure. The McCain campaign may be creating a belief that Obama is a false messiah, perhaps the anti-Christ himself.
For the tens of millions of readers of the fictional book series Left Behind, the coming of the rapture and the anti-Christ is a very real fear. Let me introduce you to Joe Bageant a fellow liberal and former fundamentalist. The article in the above link was written in December of 2005, well before Obama's meteoric rise as a serious presidential candidate. Bageant expounds the fundamentalist belief patterns and details how a great deal of them may actually take this work of fiction to be the gospel.
The central figure in the Left Behind series, is a young, charismatic and forceful politician that rises from nowhere to become the corrupt, evil uniter of a post-rapture world. In other words, minus the rapture and the evil corruption, a lot like an Obama figure.
Is there a real danger that right-wing voters will make the correlation that McCain seems to be implying, that Obama is a messianic leader? That he is a false messiah? That Barack Hussein Obama is actually the anti-Christ?
While he is accusing Obama of using the race card, is he sneaking the ultimate fear card through the back door? How far of a stretch is it for fundamentalist Americans to truly believe that a black liberal with a Muslim name could be the spawn of Satan himself?
Having read the initial book in this series myself and living in the heart of the bible belt, I know the unfortunate truth. Many ultra right wingers have already been preying upon this fear. Now, with this new attack, McCain seems to be attempting to feed that monster.