Republican Campaign Is All Fear All The Time

Dave Johnson

In advertising they say, “If you don’t have anything to say about a product, sing about it.” In this election, Republicans are singing a song of fear.

In this ad the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) says Arizona’s Ann Kirkpatrick wants to let terrorists into the country.

The midterms are approaching, and Republicans have nothing to offer. Well, that’s not exactly true, they are offering tax cuts to billionaires and giant corporations, and to the rest of us they offer cuts in the things government does to make our lives better. But they can’t say that. So instead they distract, divert, misinform and mostly, mostly try to scare people. Oh, one more thing: they try to keep “those people” from voting.

Republicans are throwing fear around. And distraction. And diversion. And misinformation. And dirty tricks. Meanwhile, Democrats are typically throwing all kinds of facts around, often using complicated charts, and appealing to reason.

In other words, the usual.


Politico: GOP 2016ers on Ebola: Panic

The Plum Line: Tom Cotton: Terrorists collaborating with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate Arkansas.

Drudge Report, Tuesday main headline: EBOLA EUROPE OUTBREAK ‘UNAVOIDABLE’

Other Tuesday headlines at Drudge include:

  • Experts worry Ebola may spread more easily than assumed…
  • American troops in Liberia will come in direct contact with infected…
  • Vomiting Passenger on Flight from La Guardia to O’Hare Sparks Fear…
  • Scare delays flights in Orlando…
  • ‘Virus killing robot’ sterilizes hospitals…
  • Researcher who discovered bug fears ‘unimaginable tragedy’…
  • Norway to get last dose of Ebola cure…
  • Reporter ‘Shocked And Horrified At Lack Of Screening’ At Atlanta Airport…
  • ‘UMMM’: Dem Sen Struggles To Answer Question About Obama’s Response…
  • CDC: Doctors, nurses fleeing hospitals…

Noun, Verb, 9/11 Terrorism

Here is Georgia Republican David Perdue attacking Michelle Nunn for “funding organizations linked to terrorists.”

In this fear ad the NRCC says Staci Appel wants to give passports to terrorists.

Here is an ad for Republican Thom Tillis saying Senator Kay Hagan “kept quiet” about ISIS.

Here is an NRCC fear ad against Dan Maffei.

With a different fear, here is a National Rifle Association (NRA) fear ad has a woman attacked in her home because Senator Mary Landrieu voted to “take away your gun rights.” (Sen. Landrieu voted for background checks before people can buy a gun.)

No Wonder People Are Tuned Out

Tuesday’s Progressive Breakfast points us to a story that refers to a Pew Poll informing us that only “15% were closely following news about next month’s congressional elections.” But it’s worse than even that: “25% of adults 65 and older were closely following the midterm elections, compared with 5% of adults ages 18-29.” (You should sign up to get Progressive Breakfast first thing every morning.)

Plenty are tuning out. So, conservatives are trying to scare their people into showing up at the polls.

But wait, there’s more. A recent study showed that people who are afraid become more conservative. The study, titled “Fear as a Disposition and an Emotional State: A Genetic and Environmental Approach to Out-Group Political Preferences” was published in the American Journal of Political Science by Brown University professor of political science Rose McDermott, along with Peter K. Hatemi of Penn State University, Lindon J. Eaves, Kenneth S. Kendler, and Michael C. Neale of Virginia Commonwealth University

According to a Brown University press release describing the study:

“Fear can play a role in influencing political attitudes on hot-button issues like immigration … individuals who are genetically predisposed to fear tend to have more negative out-group opinions, which play out politically as support for policies like anti-immigration and segregation.”

Another study reported similar findings. “Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are…Conservative,” at Mother Jones, describes:

“… a paper by John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska and his colleagues, arguing that political conservatives have a “negativity bias,” meaning that they are physiologically more attuned to negative (threatening, disgusting) stimuli in their environments.”

So if Republicans are singing a song of fear, at least we’re starting to understand why.

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