- The Washington Times - Friday, December 30, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The year 2012 is shaping up to be one to remember. Though there are many reasons for apprehension over what lies ahead, there’s less to fear than the doomsayers would have us believe. President Obama and Congress have been racking up debt like there’s no tomorrow, but that’s no reason to credit particular prophecies of the end times.

The most fanciful prediction is based on the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar, which laid out a progression of eras along a linear timeline that ends on Dec. 21, 2012. Sensationalists have interpreted the terminus to mean the inhabitants of Central America from A.D. 250 to 900 knew time itself would end on that date, and sensationalism sells.

That’s why amusement parks try to outdo each other for screams by building the “world’s tallest” or “world’s fastest” roller coasters. Yet even those pale in comparison to the fear stoked by apocalyptic claims. In 2009, Hollywood piggybacked on the hype with the film “2012,” which depicted widespread death from space in the form of a cataclysmic solar flare.

Many who would scoff at these primitive sun worshippers peddle their own tales of imminent doom and the need to make sacrifices to the great solar power. Their superstition is dressed in the costume of science, lending the movement’s high priests an air of modern authority. Yet those who preach the fable that global warming will cause planetary catastrophe have gradually lost adherents as their dire predictions continue to fizzle year after year.

The troubles that await the world in 2012 are far more mundane. In Asia, China continues its expansionist posture with an accelerating military buildup that serves as a distraction from its overheated economy. Europe, the wellspring of Christianity that nurtured the spread of democracy and individual rights, lacks the will to defend its own culture from assault by Muslim immigrants advocating Shariah law. The European Union lingers on the brink of bankruptcy, unable to shake off the effects of socialism’s cradle-to-grave welfare mentality.

Sparks continue to fly in the Middle East tinderbox as Islamists prepare to take power in Egypt and Libya, beneficiaries of credulous Western powers that facilitated the Arab Spring and laid the groundwork for what may become a reconstituted Islamic caliphate. Iran threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers transporting one-fifth of the planet’s oil to energy-thirsty global consumers.

The United States faces its own perils in the form of Mr. Obama’s spending spree, which has run up more than $4 trillion in new debt in three years. As 2011 ends, markets have given the administration’s economic policies the thumbs-down. Oil prices have climbed back above $100 a barrel in recent weeks, and the Dow on Wednesday slipped into negative territory for the year.

Americans who fear a skyborne apocalypse on Dec. 21, 2012, need to get a grip. The real Judgment Day is Nov. 6, 2012, when voters can decide whether to yank the nation’s credit card from Mr. Obama. That choice will determine how much of a future remains for this nation.

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