Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Only Thing We Have to Fear is . . .

I've been reading Leonard Pitts for a long time. Sometimes he writes some very thoughtful columns that ring with intelligence and truthfulness. And sometimes he demonstrates an advanced case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. For example, in this column, he rants:
Experience tells us that with this crew, "security" is just a code word for fear. So this election will hinge on making people think terrorists are going to get 'em if they don't vote Republican. In a sense, you can't blame Rove. With apologies to Garrett Morris, fear "been beddy, beddy good" to the White House. That's why Sept. 11 has become Team Bush's fallback position -- its default reply to every hard question.

A ruinous war fought under false pretenses? Sept. 11.

Indefinite detention of alleged terrorists? Sept. 11.

Torture? Sept. 11.

The right of the people to dissent? Sept. 11.

Spying on Americans in violation of federal law? Sept. 11.

A growing record of incompetence and lies? Sept. 11.

Fear is the president's get-out-of-jail-free card. It works because panicked people are not thinking people. If you can convince them Osama bin Laden is coming up the driveway and only you can save them, they'll turn a blind eye while you break the law, steal their rights, rape the Constitution itself.

So while this willingness to use fear as a tool of manipulation is distressing, what's more distressing is the willingness of some to be manipulated. Consider the howls of outrage you don't hear as rights are abrogated and laws broken. Fear makes us sheep.
Of course, it's conservatives who want to scare us, right?

Let's take a look at a chain email I received from a liberal friend. Naturally, I removed her name and email address.
I find this situation frightening! Please help!

---- -----

>From: "PFAW's American Way--Stop Alito Edition"
>To: "---- -----" <>
>Subject: Senator to Lead Filibuster!
>Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 14:56:37 -0800
>AMERICAN WAY -- Special Hearing Update
>January 26, 2006
>Dear ------,
>Senator John Kerry has called for a filibuster of the Alito
>nomination, heeding your calls to do everything possible to
>defeat it. He has asked that activists now help convince his
>colleagues to join him.
>Please contact key senators who can provide critical support
>to the filibuster effort!
>Then forward this email to anyone you know who is worried that
>Alito would likely condone the abuse of power by the president,
>vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and help curtail Congress'
>ability to protect the civil rights, health, safety, and
>welfare of the American people.
>We need to act now to prevent Senate Republican leaders from
>ramming this nomination through the Senate -- time is of the
>--Your Allies at People For the American Way
>Unless otherwise noted, all material in this email was brought
>to you by People For the American Way, a (501)(c4) organization
There is some serious fear-mongering going on here, but it's coming from the left. If that isn't scary enough, their website features their enemies list - uh - I mean their Right Wing Watch page. Now at a glance, you can know who, on the Right, to be afraid of. They call themselves "People for the American Way", but is fear the American Way?

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