Thursday, October 30, 2008

The politics of Fear

4 years ago a woman I dearly love said she was "Afraid" of the possibility that John Kerry might get elected President.


She is a conservate Christian. There was never any chance she was going to vote for John Kerry for President. His approach to government and hers are vastly different. I don't know if she voted for President Bush because she believed that he was doing a great job or if she was voting against Senator Kerry because she disagreed with the large majority of his policies. Or some of both. But I am certain she voted for President Bush.

Thats why we hold elections.

But why should she fear a Kerry Presidency?

I disagree with President Bush on almost every major issue. I think he has been a complete and utter disaster as a President. No suprise, I didn't vote for him.

But I don't fear him or his Presidency.

I won't vote for John McCain. The Senator McCain who ran for office in 2000 was inspiring and attractive. McCain 2008 is a cranky old man who has changed his mind on virtually every major issue.

But I am not afraid of a McCain Presidency.

I am a partisan, no doubt. But it appears to me that Republicans seem far more interested in selling fear in their campaigns. The overwhelming thrust of Senator McCain's campaign for the last month has been to attack Senator Obama.

He lacks experience

He lacks judgement

He's a Socialist

He's a Liberal

He's a Communist.

Senator McCain keeps telling us that if we elect Senator Obama bad things will happen. We will not be safe. He will take away your money and ruin the economy.

Fear Him.

He hasn't gone as far as President Bush did in 2004 when his campaign claimed that electing John Kerry would some how make us more vulnerable to terrorist attack. But he still wants us fear Senator Obama at one level or another. But he did question Senator Obama's patriotism when he stated that Senator Obama would rather lose a war than lose a political campaign. Governor Palin has repeatedly talked about good patriotic parts of a state or the country with an obvious implication that people or areas of the country that don't support John McCain or some how anti-American or not patriotic.

I contend that I am a patriot. I know that I love America. I do not support McCain/Biden.

It appears to me that often Republican's understand they are on the other side of most issues from the voters so campaign isn't a positive one about why we should vote for a Republican, but a negative one about why we should vote against the Democrat.

Senator Obama was on the TV last night for 30 minutes. Never once did he attack John McCain. Barely mentioned him. Can you picture what a 30 McCain infomercial would look like? Based on the way his campaign is running now he would spend a large fraction of his time telling us reasons to vote against Senator Obama.

I understand the politics of fear, of personal destruction. Its a style of politics that Republican's seem far more comfortable with. And unfortunately it works. Thats a shame.


Matty said...

I am not the biggest fan of the way McCain has campaigned. He is an uninspiring candidate running against an inspiring candidate. This is how politics work. If you have a experience, you campaign on your opponent's lack of experience and if you are from the incumbent party, you run on warnings of what will happen if the other takes power. Yes it's fear but it is what politics has become. It is what both parties use to keep their bases inspired and the swing voters on their side.

I would contend that the shrill left has done the same for a long time. If the GOP wins the US will go back to Jim Crow, women will be having abortions in alleys again, Bush will take your social security and give it all to Haliburton.

To set the record straight, I think the majority of the right are calling Obama not a communist but a socialist... because he pretty much is. At least that's what the American socialists think.... takes one to know one.

Have you heard his NPR clip where he laments that one of the failures of the civil rights movement was that the Warren court didn't take a radical enough stance in wealth redistribution? That is socialism my friend.

Uncle Walt said...

Is it really socialism

Its funny that you just accept what you are given without examination. The rather famous clip that you have certainly heard is about 6 minutes long. Its presented like its representative of the entire show.

What that clip doesn't tell you is that the whole show was close to an hour long and involved Barack Obama AND 2 other consitituional scholars.

Listen here to hear the context of the clip you are referencing restored.

Calling Senator Obama a socialist is in no way supported by the facts. He has not proposed nationalizing companies like banks or oil companies. He has not proposed confiscatory income tax rates. He does not rail against the rich like they are the enemy.

This is the way it goes now it seems.

I have seen this from some Democrats, but its pervasive from Republicans. Its not enough to disagree with someone, you ahve to demonize them. Call them LIberals or Socialists or Anti-American or Un-Patriotic.

You see very few Democrats make the same pervasive use of labels. For the most part, we would rather talk about issues.

So yes I have heard the NPR clip. Clearly I have heard more of it that you have.