- Nov 21, 2018
Obamageddon: Fear, the Far Right, and the Rise of “Doomsday” Prepping in Obama's America | Journal of American Studies | Cambridge Core
Obamageddon: Fear, the Far Right, and the Rise of “Doomsday” Prepping in Obama's America - MICHAEL F. MILLS
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This article examines the politics of American “doomsday” prepping during Barack Obama's presidency. It challenges claims that growing interest in prepping post-2008 arose exclusively from extreme apocalyptic, white supremacist, and anti-government reactions to Obama's electoral successes – claims that suggest prepping to be politically congruent with previous waves of extreme right-wing American “survivalism.” Drawing on ethnography, this paper argues that, while fears of Obama have been central to many preppers’ activities, much of their prepping under his presidency centred on fears that sit outside survivalist politics. Building on this, the article illuminates connections between prepping and America's twenty-first-century electoral mainstream. Engaging with discussions about the “remaking” of American conservatism during Obama's presidency, it particularly frames prepping's growth as being engaged with, and shaped by, currents of mainstream anti-Obama fear that similarly undergirded the Tea Party's rise within popular Republicanism at this time.