It is really difficult to discern what kind of character flaw is driving a fair number of Americans to abject fright and dependency on being in a near-perpetual state of panic; most recently over a single incident in Europe that is repeated around the world at the same frequency as mass shootings in America, almost weekly.
At first blush one assumes that social conservatives are pathologically addicted to fear, but it is so much more than that because a primary component of irrational fear is ignorance. The Republican base are also inherently stupid and it is a fact not lost on their leaders who are again taking advantage of that indisputable fact to manipulate them like a herd of terrified sheep.
Look, if the right were not so stupid, they would realize that the Republican fear mongering over Syrian refugees is precisely how George W. Bush convinced Americans to support invading two Middle East nations who did not attack America. They also supported giving up their privacy, opening the door to al Qaeda in Iraq, and creating the object of the Republicans’ fright du jour; the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL).
Stupidity aside, the same conservatives are exhibiting inordinate fear over one event in one country that 12 years ago was a pariah for not being stupid and supporting America’s invasion of Iraq.
In his Friday column, Paul Krugman noted that since Barack Obama was sworn in as President, Republicans and conservatives have done nothing but “warn about imminent catastrophe.” Of course none of the fiscal crises, hyperinflation and economic collapse due to health insurance, gun confiscations, or imposition of Sharia Law have happened as predicted. And yet, the same Republican panic-mongers have their stupid base terrified of allowing refugees who are not “proven Christians” into the country.
All of this Republican-created panic and fear is going on in America while Parisians who were actually attacked are staying calm and going out to cafes to show that they are not intimidated like terrified Americans. President François Hollande even reaffirmed that, because France is a humanitarian nation, they will continue taking in Syrian refugees and increased the number.
Now, contrast the reaction of the brave French people with the example Mr. Krugman cited in his opinion piece; RedState editor-in-chief and influential social conservative Erick Erickson. Erickson, a typical social conservative “tough guy” exposed his cowardice by announcing that because Paris was attacked, there is no way he will “be going to see the new ‘Star Wars’ movie because there are no metal detectors in American theaters.” Erickson joins a rash of other “brutish and intimidating” Republicans who want Syrian refugees banned from coming to America; not to protect the people, but to inspire panic and fear among an already terrified and stupid population.
According to right-wing social conservatives, all they require to be courageous and intimidating is god and guns, and although they have those in abundance, a tough guy like Erickson is too much of a coward to venture out to the local multiplex. All the while, Parisians are back to their routines and Republicans are terrified of refugees; unless “they can prove beyond a doubt that they are Christians.”
Krugman is not alone in his assessment of Republicans and their conservative punditry. President Obama rightly mocked Republicans for claiming they intimidate world leaders and yet are “scared of widows and orphans.” As an aside, just last year Republicans created panic and terror due to child refugees fleeing persecution in Central America. The brave Republicans summoned armed militias to confront and slay the children at the Southern border even though the children were Christians. They were just the wrong color of Christians and according to some Republicans were Muslim terrorists who trained to act like Hispanic refugees to lay waste to America.
Mr. Krugman makes a very valid point in noting that panic is the only thing Republicans have and that the presidential nomination will go to “whoever can most effectively channel that panic.” Krugman comprehends, like Republicans and their conservative pundits, that their social conservative base is driven by fear, stupidity and cruelty; especially toward Muslim people whether they are Syrian refugees or American citizens.
There is a major election coming up and with nothing to run on Republicans are reverting to what they know works best; frightening Americans who are too cognitively challenged to know they are being manipulated yet again. It is not a testament to Republicans’ expertise at reading the people, just a revelation that a fair portion of the population is stupid enough to fall for the exact same fear tactics. If they were not imbecilic morons they might be embarrassed but they are not; that in itself is embarrassing.
In America’s National Anthem, the refrain identifies this nation as “the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” That may have been the case at some point in America’s history, but after a never-ending Republican crusade to instill fear and panic in the population, a significant number of Americans are too stupid to comprehend that being perpetually afraid is precisely how Republicans intend on eliminating their freedoms.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.