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The New Politics of Fear

November 29, 2009

For many years those of us on the right were constantly treated to the not so flattering insuations (and at times, outright accusations) of peddling “our” agenda out of fear.  For those of you unfamiliar with this time period, we tend to refer to it as the “Bush administration”. 

For eight long years, venues ranging from the halls of Congress to nightly newscasts were filled with the ringing perorations of leftists making the audacious claim that the right-wing was foisting its agenda–particularly as it pertained to the war on terror–on a gullible public through the use of fear tactics. 

I must make a slight pause here to point out that, if there is one word that could be used to perfectly encapsulate the behavior of elected Democrats, mainstream journalists, and a wide swath of the American left since 20 January, 2008, it would be ‘hypocrisy’. 

Bear that in mind as you consider the audaciousness of the left as they attempt to sell every one of their policy initiatives to an increasingly skeptical public–except, it seems, what passes for a coherent strategy as it pertains to the war on terror–by appealing to American’s wildest fears.

The Patriot Act was supposed to have been some great transgression of the Bush administration wherein the president and “Darth Cheney” (who, exactly, was responsible depends on whether you write columns for the New York Times) sold the American public more security in exchange for less freedom through the low art of “fearmongering”. 

But what is this?  Suddenly, the right has credible and damning evidence of the long suspected collusion of “scientists” in the global warming racket, and it seems that a protracted campaign of disinformation and fearmongering has been conducted in the vain hopes of getting the expressed consent of the American public to destroy the energy sector of the economy and redistribute vast amounts of wealth. 

In light of evidence of widespread fraud in stimulus spending reports, inflated figures on GDP growth, and Carter recession-esque unemployment numbers, you would think that hard leftists, like the Times’ resident capitalism-hating “economist” Paul Krugman (author of the oxymoronically titled Conscience of a Liberal) would be more apt to shut their pieholes and hunker down for a long, cold winter full of steaming hot cups of “shut the hell up”.  Alas!  Krugman doubles down on stupid on an almost weekly basis by agitating for more stimulus spending.  Neo-Keynesian economic theory, like the belief in sock-stealing underwear drawer gnomes, is simultaneously stupid and nearly incapable of disproof in the eyes of its adherents.  No matter how aggregiously out of kilter their predictions are with the actual results of their policy making, we’ll always be awash in panic stricken cries for yet more government intervention.  Keynesian theory never ever fails on its own merits; the failure is always one of inadequate resources and power.

Whatever complaints liberals may have with Bush era foreign policy and the approach to the war on terror (and I recognize there are some legitimate complaints), the fearmongering charge is nothing if not hypocritical.  Undeniably, there is a gaping hole in the middle of New York’s skyline and 3,000 dead Americans that support the indisputable claim that, yes, terrorism can actually harm you.  What similar proof do hard leftists have for their continued devotion to Keynesian theory, or for the absurd predictions of global disaster if we don’t all become neo-Ludites and abandon the internal combustion engine?  Despite the contretemps of scientists caught attempting to stifle dissent and manipulate sets of data, we are still bombarded with hysterical claims that Santa’s home is melting and foolish expainations that their fearmongering is justified because “they’re people too”.   On the other side of the aisle, arguably, it isn’t fear mongering when you point out that a man who has tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Nigeria and has violated a cease-fire agreement on more than a dozen occasions has tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Nigeria and has violated a cease-fire agreement on more than a dozen occasions.  And yet, we’re told that the Iraq war was sold by “fearmongers” Bush and Cheney.   

So far as anyone can tell judging by evidence and facts, no one has yet lost a job or had their skin seared by a blazing hot sun because of a lack of liberal efforts to insert the government in the most mundane aspect of their lives.  Where are the eternal guardians of reasoned debate now?

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