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Thread: Fear Mongering

  1. #1
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    Fear Mongering

    Who uses fear more as a tool to manipulate the masses? The political left or right?

    It is my position that the political left use fear far more than the right to effect public opinion.

    I remember the Linden Johnson commercial using an image of a little girl being incinerated by an atomic blast to bash Goldwater in the Presidential race. I think it only aired once. It only had to air once.

    I remember Jimmy Carter suggesting that the world would run out of natural resourses.

    "The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are running out. In spite of increased effort, domestic production has been dropping steadily at about six percent a year. Imports have doubled in the last five years. Our nation's independence of economic and political action is becoming increasingly constrained. Unless profound changes are made to lower oil consumption, we now believe that early in the 1980s the world will be demanding more oil that it can produce."

    Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.

    If it were possible to keep it rising during the 1970s and 1980s by 5 percent a year as it has in the past, we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.

    we are running out of petroleum.

    Jimmy Carter, "The President's Proposed Energy Policy." 18 April 1977. Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XXXXIII, No. 14, May 1, 1977, pp. 418-420.

    There were also issues of global climate change in the 70's that the left used to affect political opinion. Except then it was referred to as global cooling.

    Remember the book by, Lowell Ponte? A huge best seller called The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?

    Scientist were just as sure then. And the looney left fell right in line like a herd of sheep.

    How about pesticides? DDT. Remember Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring? This vegetarian labeled DDT a dangerous substance that caused cancer and was to blame for her own breast cancer. She was wrong. And because of the propaganda espoused by her and those like her (Dr. Samual Epstein), many countries were pressured to stop using the very chemical which had virtually eliminated malaria. Malaria currently kills about 2 million people each year.

    And then there was global warming...

    Dr. Sue Blackmore looking on the bright side in Britain's Guardian:

    "In all probability billions of people are going to die in the next few decades. Our poor, abused planet cannot take much more. . . . If we decide to put the planet first, then we ourselves are the pathogen. So we should let as many people die as possible, so that other species may live, and accept the destruction of civilization and of everything we have achieved.

    "Finally, we might decide that civilization itself is worth preserving. In that case we have to work out what to save and which people would be needed in a drastically reduced population -- weighing the value of scientists and musicians against that of politicians, for example."

    An Inconvenient Truth. The movie by Al Gore that used state of the art computer animation (some of which was from the movie, The Day After Tomorrow, authored by Whitley Streiber, a UFO abductee, and Art Bell, radio talk show host and enthusiast on all things metaphysical). Claims that the entire world and all of civilization are on the brink of destruction. The global climate issue has all of the earmarks of a full blown religion, including damnation.

    We have seen campaign ads such as the one created by the NAACP about James Byrd, who was chained to a truck and dragged to his death in 1998.

    ON THE SCREEN -- The spot combines colorful abstract backgrounds with stark lettering echoing the narration by Ms. Mullins. The letters change in size and location like an MTV video. The final message, over the logo of the N.A.A.C.P. National Voter Fund, is ''Vote on November 7.''

    THE SCRIPT -- ''On June 7 1998, James Byrd Jr. was beaten, chained and then dragged behind a pickup truck three miles to his death simply because he was black. Even after such a brutal act as this, hate crimes legislation in many states still remains nonexistent. I'm Renee Mullins. James Byrd was my father. On Nov. 7, let it be known we will not be dragged away from our future. Vote on Nov. 7. Please.''

    This list is not exhaustive, I am sure. But when one looks at the scope of fear mongering coming from the left it is evident that they are far more willing to scare the public into submission.
    "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way." - Mark Twain

  2. #2
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    Re: Fear Mongering

    There's a lot that can be said about this, and I'm going to relate it to Australian politics because I have a better understanding of it than American Politics.

    Firstly, for as long as I've been politically aware we've had a right wing party (until recently of course with the election of Rudd government). In which case I'd argue that the left does use fear to persuade people, but because they've predominantly been the opposition it's their job to place public doubt in the party in power. In which case fear seems to be a politically viable tool. Since the Rudd government has been elected the right have undoubtedly been using fear as a tool much more than the left has. So in that regard it's a matter of perspective.

    You have a very negative view on the lefts use of fear, but I don't think it's detrimental. I think the right have a tendency to paint unrealistic pictures of the world (based on my experience with a right wing party in power) , and whilst the left may go overboard on occasion their intention is to force the reality down peoples throats ;D which I think is a good thing. They're merely being skeptical, and skepticism promotes critical thinking, which is a good thing.

  3. #3
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    Re: Fear Mongering

    What, not one example of fear mongering from the Right? Come on now. Bush's entire administration is based on putting fear into the hearts of Americans.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fear Mongering

    The issue of global warming is not a partisan issue - EVERYONE should be scared of frying like an egg.
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
    Disclaimer: This information is being provided for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only.

  5. #5
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    Re: Fear Mongering

    Examples of fear mongering by the political right:

    1:For instance, supporters of stringent penalties for drug offenses tried to invoke a public health crisis in the 1980s by claiming that pregnant crack users were contributing to an epidemic of inner-city crack babies who would be handicapped, hot-tempered, and an eventual burden to society. According to some conservative policy analysts and legislators, punishing these women harshly during their pregnancy or removing their children at birth would help stop the epidemic. Although the reality of crack babies did not materialize, heightened fears made it easier to justify harsher punishments.

    2:Another example capitalizes on the distrust and fear of youth. The Right has used fear of gangs and street crime to call for trying juveniles as adults and sending convicted youth to adult prisons. They reason that without strict changes in way the system treats gang members, the streets will never be safe.
    Right wing Tactics

    3:Besides overstating successes in Afghanistan, painting a rosy future for Iraq, and touting unfinished domestic objectives, he again used his favorite tactic - fear - as a tool to scare Congress and the American people. On one issue in particular - FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - the president misconstrued the truth and manipulated the facts.

    4:Increasingly desperate, and facing broad public opposition, Bush tried his best to stir up fear with repeated references to September 11 and dark visions of “death and destruction…here in America” if U.S. troops were to withdraw:

    5: this comment by Newt Gingrich on Face the Nation this weekend is in a class all by itself:

    On the other hand, I will say, the recent Supreme Court decision to turn over to a local district judge decisions of national security and life and death that should be made by the president and the Congress is the most extraordinarily arrogant and destructive decision the Supreme Court has made in its history. . . . . Worse than Dred Scott, worse than–because–for this following reason: . . .

    This court decision is a disaster which could cost us a city. And the debate ought to be over whether or not you're prepared to risk losing an American city on behalf of five lawyers . . . .

    6:A former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, is causing a stir by proposing that free speech may have to be curtailed in order to fight terrorism. . . .
    "We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we're unfortunate," Mr. Gingrich said Monday night during a speech in New Hampshire. . . . "Either before we lose a city or, if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us to stop them from recruiting people."
    Newt Gingrich

    7: I think we can add Sally Kern's anti-gay speech to this list...
    Studies show, no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades. . .

    I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam. . .

    They want to get them into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them . . . They are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle.

    You know, Gays are infiltrating city councils. . . Did you know that the city council of Eureka Springs is now controlled by gays? . .
    . They are winning elections.

    We have the gay-straight alliance coming into our schools. . .

    One of my colleagues said We don’t have a gay problem in our community… well you know what, that is so dumb. If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I’m going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.

    Anti-Gay Speech

    This list is not exhaustive, I am sure. But when one looks at the scope of fear mongering coming from the left it is evident that they are far more willing to scare the public into submission.
    OH really?
    Show me the government that does not infringe upon anyone's rights, and I will no longer call myself an anarchist.~Jacob Halbrooks
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.~Benjamin Franklin
    "Go big or Go home"~ LoLo Bean

  6. #6
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    Re: Fear Mongering

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan
    It is my position that the political left use fear far more than the right to effect public opinion.
    You've got to be kidding, Ivan....

    First of all, do you remember the Republican Senator, Joseph McCarthy, who started the whole "Red Scare" of the 1940's and 1950's?
    Senator McCarthy was known for making unsubstantiated claims that there were large numbers of communists and Soviet spies inside the U.S. federal government.
    His inability to support his claims led to his being discredited, and censured by the U.S. Senate.
    Meanwhile, thousands of workers, accused of being communists, were wrongfully discharged from their jobs.


    In 2004, the Republican National Committee mailed literature to residents of West Va., and Arkansas, warning that "if the liberals win in Nov., they will ban the Bible, and allow same-sex marriage".
    "ban the Bible"????....
    This is not only fear-mongering, it is playing to the sterotypical "rural Christian".


    The Bush Administration set a new standard for fear mongers, after the 9-11 attacks, exploiting the tragedy to support it's goal of invading Iraq.

    Members of the Bush Administration exaggerated Iraq's nuclear capabilities, overstated Iraq's chemical and bioweapons capabilities, made misleading statements about Iraq's ties to Al Qaeda, and the "urgent threat" posed by Iraq.


    Republican Congressman from Iowa, Steve King, recently attacked Barack Obama, saying:
    "If Obama is elected President, the radical Islamists and their supporters will be dancing in the streets, in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11, because they will declare victory in this War on Terror."


    Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, who is in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens, warned American citizens that deportation of illegal immigrants would lead to rioting.

    Last edited by Scarlett44; June 25th, 2008 at 02:33 PM.
    "As long as I have a voice, I will speak for those who have none".

  7. #7
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    Re: Fear Mongering

    I think they're about equal....fear, afterall, is a powerful tool and emotion that can be utilized. And in politics almost all tools will be used.

    With luv,
    We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.




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