Christians claim that the battle of Armageddon will mark the return of the Messiah to earth to defeat the Antichrist. Armageddon will be fought in Israel. The tale of the last battle has become part of Christian lore—the ultimate battle between good and evil. Ironically, Armageddon is mentioned only in the Revelation to John.

Armageddon is synonymous with annihilation, cataclysm, catastrophe, decimation, devastation, the end of the world, the holocaust—the showdown and total annihilation.

In recent times, some Evangelicals have obsessed over Armageddon, so much so that they prophesize the end of the world will come during an Arab-Israeli conflict, proving that Christianity represents the forces of good and putting them closer to heaven.

For most sane people, Armageddon is more emblematic of suicide—they prefer rational thought to gloom and doom.

However, the truth be told, this fanaticism has given the right a decided edge over progressives in this country. It has allowed them to capture the Republican Party and they don’t much care if the nation blows up and the economy is decimated, as long as Barack Obama fails and they can regain power. In order to do this there is only right and wrong.

Rarely in U.S. history has the left had a large enough base that was fanatical enough to transform society. Two instances come to mind: the abolitionist movement and the anti-war activities of the 1960s. But, even then their base was not large enough to control every aspect of American life.
Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay on “Repressive Tolerance” shows the positive and negative power of this intolerance. Marcuse wrote “[t]olerance is an end in itself” and “necessary for the preservation of the status quo and the strengthening of the tyranny of the majority...” Marcuse goes on that when tolerance is turned into a passive state it promotes laissez-fairez, entrenching the established attitudes and ideas of the right wing. The result is that ideas are passively tolerated and actions that are damaging to man and nature thrive.
Marcuse argued that there was a difference between true and false tolerance and that it was an abuse of tolerance to ignore unjust attitudes and ideas because the truth may upset sympathizers.
According to Marcuse, a liberating tolerance was intolerance toward unjust ideas and movements. Marcuse later posited that it was the intolerance of students that removed Dow Chemical and military recruiters off the university campuses.
Marcuse distinguished the Right from the Left. He separated movements that helped people from those that kept them in their place. These movements were difficult to distinguish because of the historical amnesia of Americans who believe that the Right and the Left contributed equally to social legislation that protects the average citizen.
As a historian, I cannot remember a single piece of progressive social legislation sponsored by right wing senators or representatives. Indeed, they opposed the end of slavery, the protection of children’s rights, social security, and civil and human rights, for starters. And, it doesn’t bother them because they win even when they lose the vote.
Even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised Arizona vigilantes in 2005. "They've done a terrific job. And they have cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants by a huge percentage." We are conditioned to tolerate undemocratic behavior and forget that in another time these vigilantes would be wearing white hoods or brown shirts.
On the other hand, leftist would be aghast at the thought of minorities arming themselves at mass protests. Hey, they get nervous when Mexican Americans carry Mexican flags.
Nevertheless, there has been a cost in tolerating these vigilantes. The few rational Arizonans left are paying the price of their tolerating the Arizona Minute Men. Organized paramilitary groups have taken over Arizona state government and have been incorporated into what was once the moderate right. White supremacist groups control them and intimidate the Republican and Democratic parties.
The agenda of many of these self described patriots goes beyond “the protection of the border.” These groups have “departed sharply from … immigration reform groups” and target Latinos, “particularly those of Mexican origin, regardless of whether they were immigrants or not.” Glenn Spencer in a 1996 letter to the Los Angles Times wrote “the Mexican culture is based on deceit.”
Meanwhile, liberals and most Democratic elected officials tolerate the extremism of the right. Where is this history of tolerance going end? In October 2002, New Jersey white supremacist radio talk show host Hal Turner told listeners to “kill every single one of these invaders.” Imagine if this sort of statement had been made by a leftist. The left would fall over each other to disown the person or organization making the statement.

Take Ward Churchill’s September 2001 essay “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” arguing that American foreign policies contributed to the 9/11 attacks. Churchill’s words were less inflammatory than Pat Buchanan’s assessment of U.S. Middle East Policy or for that matter most statements coming out of Buchanan’s mouth.

But, rather than to discuss Churchill’s statements rationally the Nay Sayers distorted, attacked and sought to and did end Churchill’s academic career. In the process, they delivered a blow to political dissent.

The negativity gets so appalling that I have heard professors say that the tragedy of 9/11 equaled the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This negativity is so transformative that an army of Republicans are allowed to espouse white Supremacist doctrines without critical comment. It has paralyzed the opposition and the intolerance of the right has won the day.

Very simply most liberals and moderates have been trained to be rational, to be tolerant of others. But if Americans had been this tolerant of slavery, it would still be practiced in America. The Vietnam War would have lingered like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars hang on.

The right has appropriated Marcuse who argued for "liberating tolerance," a tolerance for good and intolerance for what he considered bad. The former Communist David Horowitz who today is lapping up his vomit—learned his Marcuse well.

Meanwhile, liberals are hoping that this is a passing fad and that they’ll be able to discuss the issues rationally over a glass of merlot and win over the undecided – paralyzed by their tolerance..