The Politics of Fear

I’m officially sick of politics and completely over this upcoming election.

What I’m most sick of right now is the “politics of fear” that iEveryone (you know, everyone’s internet-based alter-ego) is completely wrapped up in.

What do I mean by politics of fear?

I have friends on all sides of the political arena, and I get about 5-10 emails or facebook messages a day from them saying “I’m just scared of what <insert other guy’s name here> will do to our country.  And here’s why…”  followed by lies, rumors, speculations, and unsubstantiated drivel!

I, for one, am sick of the false notions and pure crap that is spewing all across the internet about both candidates, campaigns, and platforms.  I’m sick of people thinking that if they just whip their friends up into a fear-induced frenzy with counterproductive, dishonest whisper campaigns, they can somehow influence the election.

More and more, the dishonesty of politics is not in the candidates or even in their campaigns. The dishonesty of politics is making you into an accomplice.  A hack.  A liar.  Yes, you, the faceless people who innocently sit at your computers all day, forwarding email after email of conjectural, unsubstantiated lies which are meant to discredit, defame, and inspire fear in either of the party’s faithful.  You are being dishonest, and I am calling you out.

It’s sad to see that most of these are religious people who pride themselves on their honesty and integrity, but who seem to have no crisis of conscience when spreading rumors and lies about a politician.  (All in the name of getting votes.)

Ask yourself: Can you independently verify it?  Does it really represent your views and stand up for your ideals?  Are you ready to sign your name to that statement you just made?  (At least the media does that.)  Would you stand up and say it in church?  Would you say it out loud? Or would doing so just make you sound like an idiot?

It’s destroying your soul people, and making you look like an idiot.  Wake up.

So why all the politics of fear?  Why do we scare so easily?  We are the United States of Freakin’ America!  Buck up, people!  Get over it.

Remember, we have little revolutions in this country every so often.  They’re called elections.  If we don’t like the way our elected officials are running things, then we can change them.

Together let’s raise the level of political discourse in this country! Let’s get passed party-politics hackery and try to actually address the problems facing our country!

22 thoughts on “The Politics of Fear”

  1. Here Here!!!!! Nicely put. I must say that as a former outsider who just joined the American club, I find the long and drawn out nature of elections in the US to be divisive and in someways more harmful than good. You continue to hear too much from either side’s extremists such that these views begin to divide the nation along ideological issues, many trumped up just for the election. I worry how willing we are to fall into the hands of the extremist movements. Like W.E. says, ask yourself if you really stand for the invective that you claim to support (What would your mother say if she heard you saying that?). Does your candidate really support those views or do they politely avoid taking a firm stand. Check into the real candidates as they are being manipulated to appear to support many causes that they won’t do anything about.

    Ask yourself, will the earth stop spinning if gets elected President? If you answer “yes”, then I wish you luck in life, as you must lead a troubled existence already.

    (I really like the sound of that name for some reason, must be a guy thing!)

  2. Here Here! I think the world would be a better place if people would spend more time VERIFYING facts, rather than passing along something they believe cause it sounds good. I think 99% of what I have heard/seen etc on the internet/email is all lies/made up/uneducated/ridiculous. It really really bothers me when people pass along info that they have no idea is true or not. Please, please, don’t believe everything you hear/read/see. I can’t wait until November 4 is over.

  3. Thoughtful blog and some good comments….may I add mine? I am of the older readers of this sight and as such I don’t have as far to go in mortality as I have been. I have seen them come and go and as a result maybe look at things differently than the younger generation. First of all, where do we go to get the truth? Can’t get it from the either party, not from the news media or from the t.v. media. Each one has the privledge of doing some research and fact finding. I pass on things that I don’t know if they are true or not, but I have done some research on certain issuses and found out if they are true or not. Not all….I believe that this is one of the most important election for the younger folks than ever before. I don’t think that it will make any difference to me as stated before.
    Consider if you will the following:
    If you believe in abortion
    If you are concerned about tax cuts to a selected few
    If you support same sex marriages
    If you associate with people who have had or now have questionable allegiance to america and good american citizens
    If you are not worried about appointments to the Supreme Court and other judical seats
    If you want a bigger Government and less freedoms

    Then I think that you do have a guy to vote for….

    I truly believe that we live in a time as described in the Scriptures that ” good will appear as evil and evil will appear as good ”
    It is up to each individual to make an honest effort to sort it all out and make our decisions wisely…..and yes, the world will continue to turn, but will it be a better or worse place to be a part of?

  4. Obama is neither the Savior nor the Anti-Christ despite what people say about him. He is a smooth politician I grant you that, but nothing more. Just to play Devil’s advocate for a second here though, the whole “politics of fear” thing has been around as long as politics itself, but was severely exacerbated by September 11. Maybe you don’t feel it as much out west as constantly as we do here in the east surrounded by big cities (aka targets), but the fear of immimnent terrorist attacks has been knocked into us quite thoroughly by the current administration. In the name of fear the republicans have managed to pass many bills (Patriot Act anyone?) that take away our rights and freedoms. Not only that but they managed to get us into two wars, thats right TWO, for the sake of combatting our administartion-inflicted fears. One of which…well don’t even get me started on the Iraq war… The “fear of politics” is not just an issue brought on by democrats, thank you very much.
    The biggest problem that I see with this elections is that the choice is between two poor candidates, neither of whom will do much good at getting the country to where it needs to be. Instead of listening to all of the smear ads and getting riled up about which candidate we should fear the most, pick your issues and PRAY that whichever one wins may actually do something right.
    Love your blog by the way W.E.!

  5. So sad to read “The Grape’s” comments … kind of exactly the people I fear the most. I’m afraid that you fear too many things at the same time not enough. Your wording on abortion for example. One doesn’t have to be “for abortion” (i.e. killing babies) to support the right to individual needs in such a complex matter. I’d challenge anyone who thinks that the republican party has been doing a good job fighting abortion when they had six years in total control to make it better. I’m all for a candidate that will try to reduce the need/desire for abortions. The laws of supply and demand work for abortion and for the war on drugs … cut demand and supply will dry up.

    Anyway, I doubt that republicans or democrats will cause much to change on these issues as the government tends to work well when they can’t do anything … like … say, deregulate things into the “crapper”.

  6. I am happy that Booger is sad….it appears that I hit a sensative problem for Booger. I guess I am just old-fashioned when I still believe in the Sermon On the Mount when the ten commandments were given…..Thalt Shall Not Kill…now I ask you…how are you going to cut down on the supply and demand when sexual activity and drug abuse has gone out of sight? Oh, I think I get it…just say..” don’t do it any more “.
    I agree that the life of the Mother should be top priority in considering whether to have an abortion or not. Oh and by the way, abortion is not a complex issue.

  7. I need to make a correction from my previous post. I gave the wrong reference….it should be Mt. Siani rather than Sermon On The Mount….sorry about that….Brows. my middle name is civil….yup…

  8. I’m old enough to recognize a battle that won’t be won. We’re likely both too stubborn, but I’m glad to share a world where a difference of opinion isn’t grounds for physical violence.

    I guess this might come full circle to the original blog by W.E. In the end, the politicians work hard to build up an issue to be a wedge and then you can argue that they don’t do much to fix it when they get the chance. Once it is a wedge issue, you become damned if you do, damned if you don’t so they try to hide from it with continuous rhetoric without action. Politicians thrive on these issues.

    Who loses? Do we ever try to find common ground to improve the situation (even a little) or do two sides back into their corners and never consider middle ground ever again? Sigh … Got to love the process …

  9. Yo Grape, nice to see a fresh perspecitve for today’s politics from an old man perspective. Seems that we tend to forget the simplness of what is important and get caught up in making it all complex. Rock on old dude.

  10. I am with Booger: abortion is a done deal like it or not, as well as a complex issue.
    In his book, “The Audacity of Hope”, Barack Obama says of discussing the issue with a protester: “I explained my belief that few women made the decision to terminate a pregnancy casually…that I feared a ban on abortion would force women to see unsafe abortions, as they has done once in this country and as they continue to do in countries that prosecute abortion doctors and the women who seek their services. I suggested that perhaps we could agree on ways to reduce the number of women who felt the need to have abortions in the first place…through education (including about abstinence,) contraception, adoption, or any other strategies that have broad support and have been proven to work.”
    What a novel idea. Placing a ban on something (like abortion) is never as affective as teaching people principles (like strong families, the sacredness of life, and birth control).

    W.E., as of yesterday, when my mom half-seriously prayed that I would see the light (and not vote for Obama), I am also sick of this election.

  11. FYI Grape and Booger, the church standpoint on abortion is NO abortion EXCEPT in cases of incest, rape (in some cases) or when the life of the mother is at risk. A friend recently had to have an abortion because she was diagnosed with an agressive cancer and had to be treated immedeatly, for example. It is also a matter that is to be discussed prayerfully with one’s Bishop. HOWEVER (and I mean this as civilly as possible W.E.(I did go to a feminist women’s college after all)) not everyone on this planet has had the benefit of being raised in the church nor been a recipient of its teachings. This does not excuse their behavior per se, but if they have never been taught things like abstinence, the sanctity of marriage/sex only within that marriage and everything else that we hold so dear, when the only lessons they learn are from their single parent who is sleeping around and their friends who are sleeping around and boyfriends that refuse to wear protection and they have no access to planned parenthood for birth control pills, abortion may seem like the best option to some. I am not condoneing it but I can understand that without some form of education, someone breaking the cycle that has been going on for generations with some families, some people may be desperate enough to seek an abortion legally or illegally if they have to. Does it make it right? No! But making abortion illegal is not going to stop the problem. It is not so simple in life as it is in theory. If you think it is maybe you should try being a pregnant 16 year old living in the inner city and try to make your way through your life without any support, emotional or financial, from anyone.

    Hey W.E. I added those ((…)) just for you!

  12. Please forgive all of my typos, I am watching the Phillies as I was last night and I am in some serious need of sleep.

  13. Can I just tell you one tiny problem I have with this statement?
    “Let’s get passed party-politics hackery and try to actually address the problems facing our country!”
    It’s just that…well…it’s “past”, not “passed”. 🙂

  14. I had to search to see who had used “passed” instead of “past” out of fear it was me. What a relief it was W.E. instead. Actually, isn’t that out of character for W.E.? Is he ok?

  15. Minha Nossa gente!!! That is to say WHOOOA MaMa! W.E. Beleza!! Nicely put. Truth of the matter is that until pencil goes to paper (or finger to touch screen) all we can do is blah, blah. This election is a new experience for me. I am currently living in a “battleground” state and I have officially turned off the TV, and radio. I also now drive with my eyes closed, (don’t worry, so does every one else in Vegas, I’ve actually lowered my blood pressure and my receeding hair line is in remission too!) and I only listen to Old Country Western (no one dares court that crowd). I vote early tomorrow and then I be done!! How blessed we are to live in a country like this. Fear is not what motivates me, I’m motivted by love. Love of my family, love of my religion, love of my country and love of my God. And finally love of my cuz… WE (not exactly in that order…)

  16. Sorry if I offended any readers who read this blog. As you could probably tell, I feel pretty strongly about certain issues. You and I are really a party to the abortion issue, not by our own choice but because of the special interest groups which the government funds with our tax monies..I.E Planned Parenthood, ACLU and other such groups. And basically, we have no choice in the matter as these groups stand ready to file lawsuits against any who oppose them and there are enough Judges around the country who will rule in the favor of these groups. Another point I would like to make is that I have had the displeasure of having to meet and give council to young ladies who chose to have an abortion and help place them in rehab units to try and help them to find some peace of mind and try to save their sanity. So there is a two pronged problem involved. The taking the life of a baby and the emotional distress on the person having the abortion. No one bothers to report on what the mother might be going through… There are so many couples (husbands and wives) out there who would give everything they possess to be able to adopt a child or two. I have also witnessed those who have chosen to place a child up for adoption and how hard it is for them, but it is so much better for their own well being and oh the joy that a little baby can bring into the lives of the adoptive parents. I sometimes thing that we human beings have lowered ourselves below the animal kingdom…animals to not kill their own babies and animals do not gravitate to their same gender. Enough said…Thanks Brows for allowing me to voice my opinion.

  17. Two referee comments:

    1. Not everyone who reads this blog belongs to “the” church (meaning my church). Let’s take a step back and remember that all of us in this country share a common nationality (we are all Americans), but we may not necessarily share the same religion or belief system. Arguing politics on the basis of religion is like trying to sell a cross to a Buddist, or sell a Koran to a Christian.. He just doesn’t have any use for it – or even a reference to it.

    2. I’d much rather we keep the comments centered on the subject of the blog – honesty in politics and the Everyman’s role in that honesty – rather than debate politically charged issues. …But I’ll let you all go at it. I have no problem with that. It’s just bits and bytes. That’s all.

  18. I’d honestly rather talk about it than not. I mean- to heck with all the political rumors and dishonesty in the media and “new” media but bring on the politically charged issues. Arguing doesn’t get people anywhere but I’m always up for hearing someone else’s point of view. I believe that when we refuse to talk about sensitive issues like abortion we are doing so out of pride and fear. Heaven forbid we actually listen to other’s experiences and change our view. And hey, if you know what you believe and why you believe it, what harm is there in hearing the opinion of another human being. I guess I feel like I need to make this stance as a counselor in training. Counselors get to listen to people who don’t share their views all day long, and I think it’s healthy. They get to see the human side of people who are different from themselves and have more understanding and compassion without sacrificing their values. Is it egotistical of me to think that everyone should be a little more like counselors? 😉

  19. Rachel, spot on! There is always need for direct and clear sharing on opinions and feelings, but the danger on some topics is that nobody wins, nobody changes their opinions and everyone feels worse. Abortion is one of those topics that is deeply engrained through moral direction, religion, legal opinion, or a host of other deep rooted “values”. If you go into a debate, as an observer, on abortion, gay rights, existence of God, or other issues, with your side already chosen, you are not likely to come out with a changed view.

    I find that many people can fit their choice of political party into this mold too. How many people can say that their candidate won in the presidential debates? Turns out that everyone with a pre-chosen preference thought their guy won and you can find news articles to prove it. You’ll find that people in this camp, the stead fast republican or democrat, also tend to get their news from one source. The independents and more centrist people attempt to find news from more than one source and consider the alternatives and may even, in the past, have voted contrary to their current plan (i.e. not completely party affiliated).

    So do we need to have open discourse? Yes!!! Do we need to find a way to do it respectfully? Yes! That leads back to the original blog from W.E. that leads to the divisiveness of politics today in which the election cycle is longer than a year of invective and hate mongering that only serves to teach us how to discuss hot topics without respect for others.

    BTW, none of this was in anyway a comment regarding posters to this blog. I like the fresh and family connectedness here. I work with W.E. and read only one blog, this one. I have found that respectful discussion is more of less a lost art in today’s society, kind of like debating.

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