Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Continuing with the RedState fluff piece, the "folksiness" secion (as opposed to the "character" section, which is actually most of the post) goes off into fearmongering:

Out here we have rattlers, big ones, that if you approach will sink their venomous teeth into your leg without hesitation.
Rattlesnakes are generally pretty harmless. Leave them alone and they'll leave you alone. Normally, on the desert, you'll never see one. They can sense you long before you see them -- and they want nothing to do with you. (You're too big to eat.) The urban equivalent is broken bottles-- nasty if you tangle with them, but easy to avoid.

The traditional Republican approach to issues is based on fear. Fear of terrorists, fear of crime, fear of drugs, fear of foreigners. Most of the Republicans' bogeymen are like rattlesnakes -- dangerous, but much less dangerous than presented. You'd never know from watching TV, for example, that violent crime has been going down lately. Read James Lileks for an example of somebody who is pants- pissing terrified by the Republican bogeymen.

Now, one of the oddities of "the fear card" is that politicians never seem to get called on it. "We elected you. We don't feel safer. Goodbye" just doesn't seem to happen. Reminds me of old- time medicine -- if you're sick, attach leeches. If you don't get better, you need more leeches.

When Democrats try to play the fear card, they generally sound whiny instead of scary. I don't know if this is an advantage or a disadvantage.

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