Essay on George W. Bush as the Anti-Christ

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George W. Bush as the Anti-Christ

To really grasp the significance of the symbol of the anti-Christ we must first posit politics as itself symbolic. Politics is the semiotics of a nation's will: it becomes the People just as the People become it by being elected into office and participating in the political process, or in dictatorships, by following the rules and not forming underground movements. But in a democracy, it is an especially tight symbolic relationship, thus the clear relationship between political symbol and anti-Christ in George W. Bush.

Both subject and subjectifier, politics in this nation exploits as it empowers by allowing a popular will (or a popular sense of defeatism) to manifest itself as a political
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Bush comes into play. According to Kevin Phillips, Bush is the quintessential spoiled, dumb rich kid (56). As Phillips points out, this has not always been a plus in American politics, but there is every indication that it may be in the near term: we are doing very well as a nation, thank you very much. Snooty and expensive clothes are back in style as Abercrombie and Fitch, the Gap, and Eddie Bauer have proven. We wish to see ourselves as gentrified, as having "made it," as being able to eschew study and hard work and rest on the laurels of our success.

The George W. Bush candidacy shows us that we are corrupt.

Similarly, the themes of corruption and the methods of symbol are very much a part of the book of Revelation. In it, we see symbolism at work in the creation of image:

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven which thou sawest are the seven churches.
(1.20)

Symbol itself is part and parcel with the process of revelation, and any understanding of anti-Christ must therefore be with an understanding toward symbol. Thus emerges the symbolic in our own time: our self-association with political figures is the only way we are allowed to read the understanding we have of any given candidacy. Bush's symbolic self becomes our own selves; our own iniquity goes along with it.

The iniquity of the people in the age of

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