Friday, October 10, 2008

Fearmongering Finally Blows Up in GOP's Face


At one time, fearmongering was the best thing that ever happened to George W. Bush and the NeoCons, as they cynically exploited 9/11 to advance their agenda. But now it's backfiring, as panic and fear fuel the economic meltdown.

For the past seven years, the GOP repeatedly did its best to scare the living bejesus out of the American people.

It's a strategy that worked, time and time again, and even played a key role in returning Bush to the White House in 2004.

The American people have been kept in a state of fear ever since 9/11, thanks to Bush's fearmongering. But it's a strategy that's now backfiring for Bush and the GOP.

Fear, after all, is what fuels stock market crashes and panic selling. And fear is clearly playing a big role in the current economic debacle. Although the underlying economic reasons for the crisis are real enough, it's clear that panic and fear among investors and consumers is making the crisis even worse.

The American people are increasingly afraid of doing anything with their money, outside of stuffing it into a mattress. They don't trust mutual funds. They don't trust banks. They don't trust Wall Street. And they don't trust the Fed. Increasingly, they're embracing the mindset that Americans shared during the 1930s Great Depression.

For seven long years, Bush cynically used the fear of terrorism to manipulate the American people. As a result, Bush even got the American people to initially support his disastrous invasion of Iraq.

Between color-coded terror alerts and the constant scare words and language of fear and confusion, Bush got the American people so scared that they were ready to accept anything he wanted. As a result, Bush got whatever he sought, from shredding the Constitutions to embracing torture as official state policy.

But now it's backfiring. A terrified and fearful American people are simply going to stop spending money. They're going to sell their stocks. They're going to bail out of their mutual funds. And the U.S. is going to enter a lengthy and brutal second Great Depression. By the time this nightmare is over, the U.S. could easily become a Third World-like nation. It will almost certainly lose its status as the world's only economic superpower, as the world's balance of power shifts to East Asia.

And now, along with the Project for the New American Century, the Republican brand is now severely tarnished, perhaps forever.

1 comment:

Chris said...

During the post 9-11 attack era, the fear was largely artificial, it was if anything, rather irrational. Terrorists cannot be everywhere at once.

As Al Gore pointed out in his book, it is much easier to accept simplistic explanations in such a time such as "Terrorists are pure evil" or "We're good, they're evil, lets invade Iraq!". And the American people were played.

Today, that fear is much more justified. The economy has definitely taken a turn for the worst. If it weren't for the housing slump, I'm sure inflation would be higher than normal by a considerable amount.

Who now will the American people turn to for their leadership? For hope and salvation?

Certainly not Bush. He is in part to blame for the magnitude of the problem.

I've always disagreed with the culture of debt that seems to have enveloped Western society ... its become acceptable to owe a lot of money. For years, financial advisers have been telling us to save perhaps 20% of our income, which very few people have actually done. Now I fear that everyone will learn the hard way what happens when you don't listen.