Risk vs The Fear Vote

Republican candidates, especially Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, have followed in George Bush’s bloody oratorical footsteps. They craft their messages using fear in the same way cigarette companies used free cigarettes. Instead of hook ’em while they’re young, its hook ’em while they’re old and afraid of damn near everything.  Fear campaigns target everyone, but they are  especially targeted towards taking advantage of the elderly.

From insistence on Americans being more target than citizen, to subtle attacks like emphasizing the importance of experience, its all about appealing to a sense of security. You see, Republicans (and Republican minded strategists) do have a lock on security. Not national security. Iraq is proving that. No, on the feeling of security.

But what America needs right now is not a feeling of security. It is actual security. And we are making a very direct trade. When we take the message of McCain and Clinton over more promising candidates like Obama or Edwards, we are opting for comforting gloss over substance. We are taking the nervous and exploited rheumy eyed views of the fearful old over the hunger for meaningful change hopeful youth bring to the table.

As a country we need risk. We need to take a sharp look at our very system of government and shake things up. And we are walking straight away from change into a cycle in which right wing extremists exchange rule with status quo centrists over the decades. And that dance only leads one way: away from progress and into a restrictive and bigoted past.

If we want to overcome our problems as a nation, we must overcome our fear.

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