March 06, 2015

The conservative campaign of fear

This post complements yesterday's post on The Conservative War on Reason. It notes how conservatives are trying to replace rationality with fear and hatred.

Fear Dominates Politics, Media and Human Existence in America—And It’s Getting Worse

Today, AlterNet launches a series of articles and investigations on fear, and how to combat it.

By Don Hazen
In America, with Fox News and conservative rhetoric, there is no end to the people and messages defining things as frightening. Smith adds that, “every social problem needs to have deviant groups or individuals—people who aren’t 'like us'—but who are the problem and should be feared.”

Arguably, fear as a factor has been growing in America since 9/11, which was obviously traumatic for many Americans. Instead of being treated as a criminal act by a small group of suicide killers, it produced a massively forceful reaction, including two wars. Response to 9/11 provoked a wave of fear, repression and doomsday preparation that continues to escalate to this day. The new evil on the horizon is ISIS, the media-savvy beheaders who have garnered unbelievable amounts of news coverage. The result, no doubt, will be the spawning of untold new ways of intruding on American life and individual rights.

The security state’s sole raison de d'ĂȘtre is to instill fear in the populace to control behavior and collect information. The security state mind is by nature suggestible, paranoid and capable of creating fearful situations out of propaganda and mis- and disinformation.

The reality is that Americans are endlessly bombarded with media messages that are fearful and deceitful. Almost daily, we are urged to fear exaggerated or fake threats. This unstinting hysteria affects our politics and policies. And going deeper, this media onslaught literally shapes how our brains work and what people believe.
For more on the subject, see Conservatives Want to Brainwash Kids and What the Crusades Controversy Is About.

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