Friday, November 21, 2014

Hatred wins elections … by gimleteye

Hatred isn't the first cause of political instability. Fear and anxiety is.

We live in a time when there is plenty of fear and anxiety. People retreat to their own silos, clans, and families and blame "the other".

Now there is a mainstream media more than willing to earn huge profits by scraping at the scabs: Fox News and its local versions, the small timers like Sunshine State News for example.

Fear and anxiety pulls viewers in, Rubert Murdoch learned in Great Britain a long time ago. It's a formula with sure fire success with corporate advertisers. Why? Because the end game is a business goal that few ordinary voters understand: the elimination of regulations that inhibit profits even if they do protect people.

The best example are environmental rules and regulations. Although the environment turns up at the bottom of list of voters' priorities, it is at the very top of the list of the dominant industries that now contribute unregulated sums of cash to political campaigns. The Koch Brothers multi-billionaire private empire, for example, is 100 percent dependent on the use of regulated chemicals that are petroleum based and disease-causing.

As a result of the mid-term elections, Congress is poised to do to the US Environmental Protection Agency what the GOP legislature did in the state of Florida: turn the agency into a business-friendly adjunct. It's happening already, with Republicans complaining that industry paid scientists are not permitted on the science supervisory boards that guide EPA policy.

The new head of the Senate Environment Committee is, again, GOP Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) whose status within his own party is anchored by his fierce denial of climate change.

The Democrats are out-gunned -- not because the GOP has arguments the appeal to Americans more than they do -- but because their job is to "explain" while all the Republicans have to do is stir "hatred". Which is the easier course?

Explaining presumes your audience is listening, but American audiences aren't listening. Americans aren't listening because their main source of news, Fox, is stirring the pot of fear and anxiety.

Some critics have proposed that Democrats lost the last election because they didn't "hear" what voters want. That's not the problem. Votters can't articulate what they want because they are hypnotized by fear and anxieties stirred up by the GOP message machinery (visible nearly every night on the Daily Show with John Stewart).

Last night a Republican friend objected, saying that Democrats hated George W. Bush. Bush was an incurious president who lead us into trillion dollar wars without clear objectives: wars we are only beginning to pay for. Today, the proponents for war -- mainly the fossil fuel industries that have their own trillion dollar agenda in keeping oil flowing from the Mideast to America -- are even more solidly entrenched in Congress.

They won by hating President Obama for being black. He's their "other": a perfect foil to stir up the necessary fear and anxiety that makes it so hard for voters to listen to reason.

No question, Democrats have a hard road. Whether Republicans can actually lead Congress will take some time to sort out. The recipe for gridlock is in motion. The champions of the status quo are cheering.

America is a sad place because when hatred wins elections, even worse behaviors are not far behind. 


Anonymous said...

Oh for goodness' sake! People couldn't care less about Obama's skin color! It is his policies, his actions, his czars, his lies that voters can't stand anyore!

Anonymous said...

Which pray tell are those lies? Those czars? ARe you talking about executive action? Who was the biggest champion for executive action in the last fifty years? Dick Cheney. Want some good information to clarify your thoughts. Read Russ Bakers, "Bush Family Dynasty".

Anonymous said...

What policies? You mean the one that gives all Americans the opportunity to get affordable health care insurance? The one that considers healthcare a human right? Got a problem with that?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderfully written. Bowling for Columbine pointed out the same strategy - fear.

Anonymous said...

The stock market is great. Gas prices are way down. Many Americans have health care. Our men and women are not dying in the Middle East but coming home. Americans have jobs again. The car industry was saved. The appointment of two supreme court justices. Equal pay for women. I have never seen an American President treated with so much disrespect. Then the question becomes is he treated poorly because he is African American?
When President Obama became president of America our economy was in a state of depression and not respected in the world. Today, we have rebuilt our economy and respect.
GOP since you are in charge in the senate, the house and the governors lets see if any of these wonderful things under President Obama will go up or down. GOP remember 2016!!!!
Thank you President Obama for saving America

Anonymous said...

There is no question that fear is a common tactic of the GOP. Remember how it was used in the last Bush administration? Remember WMDs in Iraq? The color alerts to warn of impending danger? Remember the evil empires? And for Obama, it has always been because he was Black. One of them, not us. A them who will do harm to us. They hated America for electing him. Anything he does, is wrong in their eyesight because they resent that he is President.

But the world moves on, and as leader of the free world, Obama must lead in spite of them.

Anonymous said...

Give. Me. A. Break!

Anonymous said...

Obama does what he believes is in the best interest for the American people and not intimidated by bullies. Using hate tactics to manulapate weak minds sometimes works and sometimes backfires. This happens not only on a national level, but drill all the way down to local levels. Palmetto Bay has a group of bad boys continually spewing hatred and lies, Cutler Bay is another example of the same tactics. I agree 100% with you Gimleteye.

CATO said...

GIMSPIERRE and everyone elso commenting here are blinded by the partisan light.

First the gut complaining about too many czars that was started by the Republicans. Remember Bill Bennett Drug Czar? Why would we want Czars anyway they did a lousy job in Russia.

Second this comment "The stock market is great. Gas prices are way down. Many Americans have health care. Our men and women are not dying in the Middle East but coming home. Americans have jobs again. The car industry was saved. The appointment of two supreme court justices. Equal pay for women. I have never seen an American President treated with so much disrespect. Then the question becomes is he treated poorly because he is African American?"

The stock market is no indicator of main street, sure there's plenty of crappy service jobs (part time) available fit for a serf (to be ruled by czars), Many Americans have lost their healthcare and can only afford "non complaint" short term policies and they will be hit with penalties (I know I am one of them). Obama has shipped at least 3,000 troops soon to be followed by more to Middle East. Obama just like many before him must do the bidding of Blackwater, Boeing, Raytheon, MacDonald Douglass, Insurance Lobby etal...., Obama would suck even if he was as white as Ron Howard colors got nothing to do with doing a horrible job.

Third Obama does what is in the best interest of the Democratic Party (elites) and its big corporate donors, same goes for Republicans thats why more and more people are registering NPA, about time some of you fools caught on.

Fourth Fear and Loathing are tactics used not solely by Rs but Ds too. Everyone who opposes any of either of their stupid ideas is a commie or a fascist or a socialist or a racist or a tea bagger. It all just depends which sides making the argument.

And after all these dismal failures, that Jeb Bush and Hilary Clinton are considered viable presidential contenders shows exactly how dismal the political process has become.

Anonymous said...

There are many reasons why Scott won the election. Hatred and fear by some of those who turned out to vote was one. That the vast majority of the voters, 60%, did not care enough about the election to vote and thus did not count was another. Another reason is that some chose to throw away their votes by voting for a third party candidate who could not win as those votes alone could have more than covered the 1% needed for Crist to win. Added to these, is that key Democratic leaders were paid to support Scott and to depress the Democratic vote. And importantly, Democrats failed to run a massive get-out-the-vote field operation consisting of neighborhood, group, street, and precinct workers. So, hatred and fear were used, but there were some other critical things at play too.

Anonymous said...

Hate and fear is the opium for the masses. While they embrace these things and are not paying attention, others are looking for money and any chance they can get to exploit the masses.

Anonymous said...

You nailed it, CATO.

Homestead Resident said...

Speaking of elections,I was shocked to find Shiver and Daniella Cava-Levine at the Capri the other night. Give that Stevie is back in town and given I have lived in Homestead long enough to see steve and his buddy Bateman grow up together, I am shocked that our new commissioner is already starring on Steve's Facepage.

The Commissioner needs to know that these nice folks in Homestead are not celebrating her win, but learning her mannerisms and weak spots so they can exploit them against her. She isn't in Kansas anymore.


Anonymous said...

Can't believe I am hoping for more years of gridlock in Washington.

Anonymous said...

Well said!

If one watches FOX (FAUX) News with an eye to the script and it's intentions, it's quite obvious that fear mongering and anger generation are the tactic employed.. This script plays upon a common human tendency--to substitute anger for the stress of uncertainty.

Anonymous said...

Last anon ever watch MSNBC same could be said about there reporting and if you can't see the similarity (just different ends of the spectrum) you need new glasses,.

Anonymous said...

Last anon: I avoid Fox News and MSNBC, preferring to obtain information elsewhere. However, to say they are equal but in different ends of the spectrum is simplistic and untrue. The point that Fox operates on the basis of spreading fear and hatred is unique to it. Nothing else compares. No need for glasses to see that.