Republicans Fearmonger Over ISIS to Distract From Their Ineptitude



Fear is a natural emotion that is induced by a perceived threat, or a specific stimulus happening in the present, or some future situation. In both human beings and animals, fear is modulated by cognition and learning and in humans it can be either rational and appropriate, or irrational and inappropriate; irrational fear is a phobia. Republicans have learned that sowing fear is a valuable campaign tactic, and the more irrational fear among their supporters, the more motivated they are to vote for Republicans promising to eliminate whatever perceived threat their base’s phobia is grounded in. As political psychologist Drew Westen of Emory University wrote in The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation;In politics, the emotions that really sway voters are hate, hope and fear or anxiety. But the skillful use of fear is unmatched in leading to enthusiasm for one candidate and causing voters to turn away from another.” If nothing else, Republicans are skillful at using fear to sway voters and lacking any record to run on, they are opting for fear in the leadup to the midterm elections.

After the past few days of Republican fear-mongering over the “perceived” threat from the ISIS (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, it is blatantly obvious that besides drumming-up support for a new Middle East war to profit their military industrial complex donors, they are in campaign mode. What is curious, is that Republicans are campaigning against President Obama who is not running for any political office, but since they cannot run on their records in Congress, they are using conditions in Iraq to frighten Americans into supporting the GOP.


Of all the outrageous claims made by Republicans criticizing the President for the “threat” of ISIS, one that stands out was Senator Lindsey Graham’s remark that President Obama “has to realize, as president Bush did, that his Iraq strategy is not working.” Graham then went on to tout the vaunted surge’s success, and that the President has to put all options, including ground troops, on the table to defeat ISIS. Warmonger John McCain is also criticizing the President for not coming forward “with a cohesive, comprehensive strategy, not only in Iraq, but also in Ukraine also in other parts of the world,” and not outlining “a role that the United States of America has to play, and that’s a leadership role.”

First, Graham, like warmonger John McCain has to understand that Barack Obama is not the President of Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, or “other parts of the world,” and could not leave troops or a ‘surge’ of troops in a sovereign nation. Second, Americans do not want another war in Iraq, and there is no way ISIS can be defeated. Sunni and Shia Muslims have been at war in the region around Iraq for centuries over Sunnis creating an Islamic caliphate, and after a period of relative peace under Saddam Hussein, it was American actions in Iraq that created ISIS; particularly the group’s leader. Before becoming Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-appointed caliph of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and architect of the violent campaign to redraw the map of the Middle East, he was an innocent non-combatant rounded up and thrown into prison by Americans in or around early 2004.

There is no question that ISIS is a threat to Iraq and Syria, but it is important to remember that it was the Bush administration’s fear-mongering the drove so many Americans, including many Democrats to support invading Iraq in the first place. What is telling about the stale mindset of Republicans, is their reiteration of Islamic terrorists attacking America to frighten Americans into supporting a new Iraq war in the same manner they pushed Bush’s war of aggression and profit. Their problem is Bush is not the president and it is more likely than not they know, and accept, that Obama is not taking America into another stupid and wasteful war in Iraq.
Republicans have no record to run on leading up to the midterm elections, and after shutting down the government, threatening a credit default, failing to raise the minimum wage, create one job, pass immigration reform, extend unemployment benefits, or do anything for the American people, they have to resort to fear-mongering about ISIS attacking America. A few days ago Rick Perry told an audience that he was certain ISIS was crossing the border under the guise of being Central American children to rain terror on Americans. Even though Perry said he, or Republicans, had no credible information, or evidence ISIS was invading the southern border, the damage was done and the Republican base was duly mortified. That irrational fear is more than sufficient to erase any memory of Republican inaction in Congress, or the damage from shutting down the government.

Even Paul Ryan jumped in to help distract voters from Republicans’ failure to govern for the people and joined the fear-mongers saying yesterday that, “What I want to hear from our commander-in-chief is that he has a strategy to finish ISIS off. To defeat ISIS. If we don’t deal with this threat now thoroughly and convincingly, it’s going to come home to roost.” Republicans even used the beheading of a journalist to distract voters from their ineptitude over the past three years by attacking the President for going golfing instead of grabbing an AR15 and leading troops into battle in Syria. They failed to mention that five Americans were beheaded when Bush was president, but that would have devalued the distraction factor of assailing the President for not preventing Bush’s invasion of Iraq that led to all of the beheadings.

Republicans have nothing to run on, not their pathetic do-nothing record, not the steadily-improving economy and monthly job increases, not the success and growing popularity of the Affordable Care Act, not the President’s perpetual accommodation of the religious right, and not the fact that the President has kept America out of any number of wars Republicans lust to start. So they have resorted to what works on their wildly ignorant base; irrational fear. Fear of immigrant children seeking asylum, fear of losing their religious liberty, fear of African Americans, and fear of Sunni Muslims fighting a several-century old war against Shia Muslims. A war that Bush revived when he used fear-mongering to remove the one man that kept what would become ISIS at bay; Saddam Hussein

A few years ago President Obama was asked about the culture of fear gripping America, and his response was as apropos today as it was then. He said, “We have been operating under a politics of fear: fear of terrorists, fear of immigrants, fear of people of different religious beliefs, fears of gays that they might get married and that somehow that would affect us. We have to break that fever of fear. Unfortunately what I’ve been seeing from the Republicans is that they are going to perpetuate this fearmongering.” The President was right; they are perpetuating “this fearmongering” because it works, and as a campaign tactic is successfully distracting voters from their gross ineptitude and refusal to work for the people.

16 Replies to “Republicans Fearmonger Over ISIS to Distract From Their Ineptitude”

  1. Democrats should have used the five-week House recess for political framing. It would have been simple to do. Follow republican House members (all of them) and detail “How I Spent the Five Week House Recess,” with Paul Ryan’s clip, being confronted by DREAMers, as the video’s teaser. Mix in man-on-the-street interviews with people asked how they felt about Congress taking off five weeks just before the start of election season.

  2. –Republicans have learned that sowing fear is a valuable campaign tactic, and the more irrational fear among their supporters, the more motivated they are to vote for Republicans promising to eliminate whatever perceived threat their base’s phobia is grounded in———

    So true. Republican Perpetuating the FEARS:
    “ISIS coming! ISIS is coming! We gotta’ do SOMETHING NOW! EEEEEEEK! Obama is not helping us get them, let’s sue him, impeach him…whatever.” ISIS is coming to our shores! We are all going to be beheaded!
    Yuk, yuk, yuk.

  3. Defining characteristic of Fascism:
    Identification of Scapegoats/Enemies as a Unifying Cause…
    (BTW: there are 14 “DCs” of Fascism and the GOP adhere to all of them)
    Fascist regimes use that “identification” of those enemies/scapegoats to not only rally their supporters, but to also place blame that correctly belongs on them to others.
    The GOP began adhering to all of the 14 DCs on 26 October, 2001, when Bush 43 signed the GOP-written and passed “USA PATRIOT Act of 2001”.
    The GOP adhered to six of those DCs during the Nixon administration; it went up to 10 during the Reagan administration and up to a dozen early in Bush 43’s term in the White House.

  4. This is what happens when fake Christians have a base that consist of fake Christians. If they were truly Christians they would not be fearful at all. Fear is of the Devil.

    I don’t know how GOP voters get the courage to get out of bed and leave their homes. The politicians have them fearful of EVERYTHING: brown people, black people, gay people, Ebola, the loss of their guns, the loss of their constitutional rights, healthcare (which is a good thing for sane people), Beyonce (go figure), their government.

    I’d cling to my gun too if I felt the boogie man was everywhere. Comparing animals to humans us a disservice to the animal kingdom. They sense real threats, whereas humans their imagination to form non existent fears.

  5. When is Congress going to do their job & debate the actions that could be taken to confront the growing threat that ISIS poses in the middle east. The President can only do so much without their authorization & can’t effectively make a plan of action without it. The lazy bastards think their only job is to either criticize or blindly oppose our President.

  6. This particular issue is one that requires deeper analysis than the “Don’t believe the Republican hype” trend that is developing among liberal/progressive sites. ISIL is actually a threat. The biggest issue is their infrastructure and revenue streams. They are acquiring considerable “liquid assets” through oil sales (owning the means of production as well), ransoming hostages, donations and retailing products and services. They have an educated and ambitious leadership. It’s unfortunate that we tend to see “terrorists” through a political filter. But if we view ISIL as an Organized Crime Syndicate, it may be helpful in avoiding the polar reaction. I’m not advocating a ground war, but I don’t agree with those that advise ISIL will just go away as Middle East nations engage them, if they ever will.

  7. Ok here is my take on some deep analysis

    1. Do we arm the so called Free Syrian Army which in our sound bite world sounds great.
    NO you didn’t hear me? HELL TO THE DOUBLE NO. There is no such thing as a free Syrian ARMY
    Fighting Between Allies and the Civil War in Syria
    In so many words the people you arm today tomorrow those same people will turn on you. I would have thought we learned our lesson during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

    2.So if we cant arm them then who will put boots on the ground? That’s a 3 part answer and none of them are good options
    1.The Kurds. While they are the most pro American if you arm them you will piss of Turkey a NATO ally and it will lead to the break up of Iraq
    2.The Iranians. Which may be the best option until you take into account Israel, the neo-cons and the gulf states. They will be piss because as we have been “taught” they are out to get us. That’s bullshit but that’s a whole other thread
    3. Backing Assad of Syria. If we are going to conduct airstrikes in Syria against ISIL then it is a must we come to some agreement with that regime so our planes wont get shot down. Assad has the best trained soldiers in that region with Hezbollah backing him up and with our support could wiped them out with extreme prejudice. But that also has some blowback from the gulf states who have been funding ISIL and don’t want a Iranian/Syrian alliance. See this is a Islamic Civil war. Chose wisely

  8. I agree with you that ISIL is an actual threat, but I believe we have a bigger threat to the American people right now. That threat is a Republican Party who so despises having this President, a black man, in office, that they will go to any measure to keep him from succeeding at anything and at any cost. That cost is the health and welfare of the people of The United States of America. These sorts of people who would actively undermine the progress and well-being of the American people used to be referred to as traitors. Today, they call themselves patriots. They are Republicans and are destroying the country for their own ends. Shame on them.

  9. Remember when Barack Obama became President, the first time. Mitch Mconnell said his goal for this President is to make him a “one term President.” When the President won his election for the 2nd term, Mitch McConnel said his goal for the President and the Democrats was to make sure that there wouldn’t be any Jobs Bills introduced for a vote.
    Now its Mitch McConnels re-election time and his goal is for the GOP is to take back the House..So they can shut down the United States Government.Well, we all know how well that went. And its taken a long time for the President and the Democratic Party to try and get the United States back up on their feet. We are doing better, especially where there was no help from the GOP.Just think how much further ahead the bridges and roads would be if they had Passed the Jobs Bill.
    Senile Mitch forgot..he is the Government..
    Remember The Patriot Act/Domestic Terrorism sign by President Bush 2001 and the US Congress??? Well this is…

  10. who wouldn’t be? The Republicans are doing far more damage to you and to your rights than anyone in the Middle East is

  11. Shouldn’t we as a nation be afraid of the Republican Party? There seems to be a whole lott’ reasons to be fearful of their “wrecking crew-Do nothing” attitudes.
    Fear the fear-mongerers, that’s what I say.

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