Tag Archives: fearmongering

Thankfully, More WNYers Listen to Country Music

30 Apr

A few weeks ago, I criticized Buffalo’s worst Brian Griffin impersonator for asserting that the United States government is a greater threat than al Qaeda. This coming from someone who was a big supporter of Bush-era, post-9/11 fearmongering, who was a huge supporter of the Patriot Act, an Iraq War backer, and who enjoyed labeling opponents of Bush-era policies as traitors. The irony is delicious. 

Now, this: 

Anyone who disagrees with Bauerle’s weltanschauung is, nowadays, simply a member of the “lunatic left”. More irony, as he posts a link to an idiotarian birther website to “prove” his point. But what is actually shown at that WND link? Is there some confirmation there that Americans tend to agree with Mr. Bauerle’s conclusion that Islamic jihadist terrorist organization al Qaeda is a more desirable master than the participatory representative democracy of the United States? 

No. 

What’s shown there is something that -for WND.com – is uncharacteristically reasonable and completely believable. 

Now admittedly, the author at WND has reading comprehension skills that are as poor as that of the AM morning zookeeper who is #2 to country music in the nation’s 56th largest market

According to a pair of recent polls, for the first time since the 9/11 terrorist hijackings, Americans are more fearful their government will abuse constitutional liberties than fail to keep citizens safe.

Even in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing – in which a pair of Islamic radicals are accused of planting explosives that took the lives of three and wounded more than 280 – the polls indicate Americans are hesitant to give up any further freedoms in exchange for increased “security.”

Wait a minute. Being hesitant to give up freedoms doesn’t equate with “fear” of government. 

A Fox News survey polling a random national sample of 619 registered voters the day after the bombing found Americans responded very differently than after 9/11.

For the first time since a similar question was asked in May 2001, more Americans answered “no” to the question, “Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?”

Of those surveyed on April 16, 2013, 45 percent answered no to the question, compared to 43 percent answering yes.

In May 2001, before 9/11, the balance was similar, with 40 percent answering no to 33 percent answering yes.

But after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the numbers flipped dramatically, to 71 percent agreeing to sacrifice personal freedom to reduce the threat of terrorism.

To me, it doesn’t mean that Americans fear government. Instead, it means people have lost their fear of terrorism. It means that America is growing up and understanding that one’s constitutional liberties must be preserved, protected, and maintained even in the face of occasional mayhem, death, and cruelty. It means that the terrorists have lost if we no longer fear them to the point where we agree willingly to sacrifice our liberties and our way of life. 

Not everyone lost their minds when Obama was elected and then re-elected. 

It takes an especial kind of intense hatred and ignorance to draw the conclusion that WND and WBEN’s shining star make here, but it’s what you get when you live in a country with the freedom to speak even the most rank stupidity – so stupid that it reveals your prejudices and your inability to engage in logical thought.

By not “fearing government” and instead fearing terrorism after 9/11, we let too many things go. Patriot Act, overdone security porn at airports, billions to equip police with military equipment, and a detention center in Cuba that is nothing more than an air conditioned, extralegal death row. Americans indeed need to take back our liberties – liberties that were deliberately and systematically abused and withdrawn by the prior administration Mr. Bauerle contemporaneously adored. 

We don’t win the war on terror by indefinitely detaining bad guys – we make more bad guys. We don’t win the war on terror by raining ordinance on remote Pakistani or Yemeni villages using drones – we make more bad guys. Ultimately, we need to understand that there will always be bad guys who want to do us harm, and we can do what we can to keep us safe, but not to the point of fundamentally changing what America is. 

That police power vs. safety debate is an important one to have, but when dishonest cretins misapprehend what it’s all about, and use lies to inflame the hatred and fear of people too dumb to click the link and read, then there’s no debate to be had. They just need to be told to go to hell

The Fear Machine

25 Aug

The demographics of the voting class in this country have forever changed.  This has forced some changes in our national politics and the way the two parties work to maximize turnout in support of their agenda.  I’ll address how one party is handling this demographic shift because, well, it’s my site.

The Republican agenda or platform, as far as I can tell, consists of the following issues: tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts in social spending, corporate deregulation, abolition of unions, privatization of municipal services, perpetual empire building/foreign war, increased military spending, Israel, Israel, Israel, and in recent years…promoting a fear of “the other”.

Let’s go to the data to back up that last assertion.

In 2008, 90% of those who cast a vote for John McCain and his VP nominee, Crazypants McGee, were white. As a percentage of the overall voting populace, McCain captured a total of 55% of the white vote while Obama took 45% of the vote.

Yes, a candidate won a race for President in the United States without carrying a majority of white male voters. The 45% of white American men who cast a vote for Obama were not necessarily spread out around the country in an orderly fashion. Here’s a handy map reflecting the national distribution of white male votes for Obama.

whitemen_obama

Unsurprisingly, you’ll note that Obama did poorly in the southern states as well as other traditional red states which now make up the national dixie belt. Obama did surprisingly well in some of the least diverse states in the North like Wisconsin, Vermont, Oregon, Washington and Maine.  There is something to that data point that I hope to get to in the future.  However, Obama didn’t need the white male vote because he took 59% of the vote for non-white men.  This chart shows Obama’s non-white male vote distribution around the country.

nonwhitemen_obama

Looks a lot different, doesn’t it?

Combined with data which show the GOP fares very poorly with the expanding hispanic and african-american demographics, the strategy for the GOP and the conservative movement is clear.  Foment a feeling that America is being taken over by radical minorities, muslims, gays and radical “leftists” with their un-american “urban” agenda.

We’re watching this strategy being implemented right now and it is morphing as needed along the way.  At the start of the Obama administration, we saw all sorts of Lee Atwater style tactics and buzzwords used to covertly describe how the black man wants to take away the white man’s rights and privileges.  Socialism!  After a while, the message grew repetitive and Americans have short attention spans, they needed to up the ante to keep the fear machine primed.

Now, we’re seeing the right wing media and tea party movement foment a fear and loathing of Islam.  It’s unifying white people behind the idea that this isn’t “their” America anymore, it’s being taken away from them by elitist, atheist, college educated snobs in the northeast and their black/muslim/gay friends.  Somehow it is a slap in the face of freedom loving Americans everywhere to have Sufi Muslims build a community center on the hallowed ground next to the titty bar and OTB near Ground Zero…right around the corner from another mosque which has been there for decades.

The fear machine provides the GOP its only chance to regain national power in the face of massively and rapidly changing voter demographics. Fire people up, get them to throw tea bags at each other based on misinformation; compare Obama to Mao, Stalin, Hitler.  Claim that Sharia Law is on the way, that the President is a muslim sleeper agent born in Kenya, sent to destroy America from the inside.  They’ll do whatever it takes to motivate the angry white guy who lost his job at the plant due to globalization to get off his ass and get to the polls and maximize turnout.  Demonize gays, blame job losses on unions (not automation efficiencies, shareholder demands and CEO priorities), turn hopelessness into anger and blame.

Will it work?  Can this short-term strategy effectuate a return to power for the GOP?  It might, especially with the President and his castrated Congress alienating and disappointing the liberal base on a daily basis.  Long term, what is the GOP plan to reach out to these changing voter constituencies?  Will they make an effort to reach recent immigrants and minorities and bring them into the GOP tent?  By all accounts, the current plan seems to be a doubling down on maximizing turnout in their shrinking core demographic.

The trends are not on their side; poor, uneducated, misinformed white people will not be a massive voting bloc in many parts of the country for much longer.  However, they’ll continue to stay in power in nationwide rural areas and in the Dixie Belt, which will provide them with enough useful idiot voters who will vote for noted Congressional morons like Louie Gohmert and Joe Wilson.  They’ll create a regional/rural party which will be obstructionist and give them just enough power to work toward the goals noted in the second paragraph of this article.  I’ll dig into all of that and why Congressional Democrats can’t seem to govern in the face of obstructionist dummies as time allows.

Think about this chart until we meet again, it’s probably the most telling of all. It’s a difference between the vote totals of George H.W. Bush in 1988 and the vote totals of John McCain in 2008. It’s stark to see how the GOP base has shrunk so drastically into the dixie belt in just 20 short years.  It also underscores why the GOP has made a permanent shift toward the fringe of the party and why they’ll need to continue doing so to remain relevant.

bush_mccain_88_08

Palin Quotes Reagan

3 Oct

But the Reagan quote wasn’t from his presidential years.

It was from a recording he did in the mid-sixties to urge people to vote against Medicaid and Medicare, because they would lead to socialism.

Yep.

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