Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Fear of Anything as a Vote-Shaping Strategy

Of all the enemies of the happy society, fear is the greatest.  Fear is the acid of trust.

The strategy of Karl Rove and his disciples had been to make their party base fearful, and forget about trying to win over the center.

In recent years they have added strategies to make it harder for everyone to vote, which hurt their opponents more than it did their supporters.

In this last cycle, I believe they gave up on trying to instill fear of things that corporate interests usually oppose, namely taxes and regulations, or that social conservatives oppose, such as abortion and gay marriage.  This cycle they seemed to promote any fear at all as a way of ginning up the base. This worked against compromise and normal politics, and toward a black-and-white view of the world which their candidates would address with force.

This explains, I think, why there has been such political interest in Ebola and ISIS as things to be afraid of in this country.  Notice that the promoters of these fears are not focused on the dangers of Ebola to West Africans, or of ISIS to decent people in the Middle East - where those fears are well grounded.  Instead, they have promoted fear, even hysteria, about the minuscule dangers that either threat poses to Americans at home.  The aim is simply fear, and anything scary will do.

9 comments:

Dennis Evans said...

The Republican comments on NPR, today, after the election, seem to say that Republicans will attempt governance now. I am a Republican who likes history and I identify with the party of Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt. I have hated this fear business for a long time.

gruntled said...

Senator McConnell talks compromise and governance. Senator Cruz talks about the opposite.

war on women said...

Democrats play the fear game too.

Anonymous said...

As a "John Sherman Cooper, Nelson Rockefeller" republican, I am dismayed that the party has been hyjacked by the crazies, and that Karl Rove is now considered a moderate in today's republican party. Fear works very well and has been used evectively by many includint Hilter and the Nazi party. Fox New has used it to become a finanical powerhouse, and can be idenified as rich people paying rich people to convince the middle class that everything is the fault of poor people

gruntled said...

Agreed.

Kim said...

Sore losers...

gruntled said...

Naw, I am against fear mongering no matter who does it. The global warming hysterics and GMO panic-mongers are just as bad as the gun nuts and the birthers.

Henry Chambers said...

Were Republicans the only fear-mongers in this election cycle, or even the worst? Or Democrats were not at all? How do you observe and measure this kind of thing? How do you know?

poopy said...

Sociology is a soft science.