I love the phrase ‘rhetorical rapture-race’ used by Thomas Frank to describe the mobilising dynamics of the far-right resurgence in the U.S. From his Pity the Billionaire loc 960:
Conspiracy theorists have always been with us. But Glenn Beck brought them into the mainstream. And so began one of the most distinctive features of the right-wing renaissance: a rhetorical rapture-race in which pundits, bloggers, and candidates for high office competed to paint the most alarming end-times picture.
Is this something uniquely applicable to deliberately mobilising fragile movements i.e. inciting crowds of individuals to act in a co-ordinated way without seeking to build relational bonds between them?
On loc 992 he cites a Republican blogger describing the results of the aforementioned mobilisation. Is the rhetorical rapture-race necessary in order to cut through the fog of depoliticisation?
Many Americans who had never been politically active, never walked a precinct, never interrupted their golf games, family gatherings, or vacations to discuss politics, government, or the Constitution, were suddenly gripped with the sense that their government, nation, and way of life were being stolen from them. 4