Saturday, September 5, 2009

Irrational fear-mongering hurting American discourse

With all of the irrational behavior that's been exhibited by the conservative movement lately, you'd think it was the start of the apocalypse. People are concerned with a president they feel is vying for unprecedented power in the federal government.

But the fears that people are worrying about are really not that worrisome at all. The "death panel" provision in the health care bill never existed in the first place; Obama does indeed have a birth certificate, available online for anyone to examine; any tax increases that people are literally screaming over are planned to be placed upon the super rich, the top 2 percent of the wealthiest of Americans; and planned speeches aimed towards schoolchildren are meant to address the importance of individual responsibility and a sound education, not actual policy or indoctrination of any kind.

That's just a handful of the craziness that's been discussed about the presidency of Barack Obama since he took office earlier this year. With his poll numbers dropping, however, it seems that this craziness is a weapon that works.

The problem with conservatism today is that it's not concerned with political stances or an ideology anymore. The movement has been overrun by extremists who are hell-bent on destroying the Obama presidency, no matter what the cost may be, with some even advocating full-out secession if they don't get their way.

It should be noted that conservatism itself isn't to blame; the leaders and commentators who see a potential political advantage in fear-mongering are the ones perpetuating the lies, pushing the fear level into hyper drive in an effort to win back a few seats in Congress come 2010 and perhaps the presidency in 2012.

The liberal movement, on the other hand, is presently concerned with facts, figures, and empirical evidence to back their claims. They're also concerned with improving the lives of millions of Americans, of making the country a better place for all and not just corporate interests.

The average conservative, too, is concerned with improving America; however, the movement itself has no plans for doing anything to help the country, opting instead to preserve the status quo by striking fear into the public en masse. In order to win their point, extremist conservatives have taken the low-road, appealing to a person's fears through irrational scare-tactics rather than rational arguments.

An emotional response to public policy isn't anything to worry about; irrational fear-mongering and the response it generates is. Neither party nor ideology should engage in such conduct, and it's disappointing that such tactics are being used to influence people today.

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