Fear Itself – GOP Politics in Our Century – OpEd

2012 Presidential Race, A Point of View, Politics | | August 10, 2011 at 08:22

Going into the presidential election of 2012, as in all recent elections, the Republican Party has NO positive accomplishments to run on. Eight years of their policies at the start of this 21st century have left America at war, our economy in chaos, our local governments crippled, our elections and Supreme Court and news media corrupt, and our national spirit demoralized.

But to the GOP, Bush never happened, and our truly and popularly elected President Obama is to blame. He is the finest man in public service in this century, while their former anointed leader W cannot even speak in public. The Bush name is now a synonym for lies, planned failures and malicious ignorance, yet these benighted reactionaries seem more fanatical than ever. They’ve become the RepubliCANT obstructionists, the party of “Hell No You Can’t” as voiced by their leader Boehner.

With nothing positive to run on, the GOP must appeal to Fear. Their whole campaign is to regress America’s thinking to a primal reptilian level, destroy hope and faith in our constitutional government, and Keep Fear Alive.

Fear is always irrational and prey to manipulation. Here are some of the principal fears the GOP  plays on:

  1. Racism, a divide-and-conquer tactic.
  2. Fear of Government: health reform, death panels, gun control, taxation, etc. This appeals to paranoid anti-social tendencies that have been carefully nurtured. It used to be real fear of the draft. Now it’s the fear-brokers who impose airport strip searches, the War on Drugs, right-to-life laws and other intrusive measures.
  3. Economic fears: The National Debt, money policy. FNMA and FRDC (oddly, these crusaders ignore real threats of private bank collusion and corruption, Wall Street fraud and speculation, and “corporate welfare” tax handouts and bailouts.
  4. Religious fears, mostly of Moslems and other “foreign” faiths (when Islam, Judaism and Christianity all share the same basic books of the Bible/ Torah/ Koran.) This fear used to be directed against Jews only, and still may be. When you talk to a self-proclaimed Christian, you often find that you’re really talking to a Pre-Christian, since all their fears are based on the Old Testament and Book of Revelations, penned by a mad monk who castrated himself, and have nothing to do with the charitable and loving teachings of Jesus Christ.
  5. Fear of Immigrants. This Nativist fear combines xenophobia and primate territoriality with real socio-economic concerns – which, like many GOP fears, can be aggravated by capitalists who import cheap labor and then targeted against “liberals” who want labor fairness and social equality.
  6. Terrorism, the notion of an evil global conspiracy “out there” targeting “us” when the real danger is fear itself, and our own people lashing out in a frenzy of fear. 9/11 was the mysterious covert intelligence operation funded by oil-rich governments, that saved the Bush administration and empowered them to bankrupt our government. The Republicans loved this terror and played on it for as long as they could, becoming terror-brokers. This fear is old but will be back.
  7. War scares, WMDs, Yellow Cake, mobile anthrax labs. This required carefully orchestrated lies, both to frighten our  people and demonize the voices of reason such as Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter and Ambassador Joseph Wilson.
  8. Jealousy: The fear that some “minority” or “under-privileged” group is getting benefits that oneself is denied by a paternalistic government. This “Welfare Cadillac Mom” myth is rooted in childhood sibling-rivalry/insecurity issues and is now deftly targeted against teachers, public workers, minorities and the elderly.
  9. Wedge issues: Guns, Gays, God, abortion, and now contraception. These fears of Apocalypse involve a reactionary dread of technology and its resultant social changes. This Future Shock is especially hard on the elderly and the devout, i.e., fanatics who want to reserve all government powers to God and the Church.
  10. The Republican War on Women. This fear that women may someday be equal is shared by insecure men and insecure women.

These fears have been crafted by think tanks and generously spread by talk radio and Fox News. They now dominate commercial and public TV and radio and have contributed to the demise of newspaper. They have grown to a national pathology, a complex of delusions and defense mechanisms that threatens our existence as a constitutional democracy.

See also: Why Rural Whites Still Vote GOP and the Tea Party is Dangerous


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