Monday, October 22, 2007

Who Is Really Using Scare Tactics?

An Honest Look At Political Fear Mongering

An unfortunate reality of politics is that negativism, smear campaigning, and the demonization of one’s opponent are often effective for attaining votes and winning elections. No one would deny that all political parties use these methods at one time or another. The question we must ask is, “Who crosses the line with boldfaced lies?”

It seems that election after election we hear about how Republicans want to implement policies that will “starve children”, “slash Social Security and take medication from the elderly”, “prohibit blacks from voting”, “destroy the environment”, “dissolve civil rights”, “cut education funding”, “abolish overtime pay”, “eradicate the middle class”, “lock up the homeless”, “wage fruitless wars”, “implement the draft”, etc., etc. Is any of it true? Has Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or education spending ever been cut? Did anyone prevent a single black from voting in 2000 as John Kerry himself alleges? Are civil rights in this country regressing? Are pollution standards declining to dangerous levels? Are children starving? Is there a military draft in the works? It may be of interest to you to know that it was two Democrats who proposed reinstating the draft in Congress, and it was two Democrats who proposed cutting overtime pay- look it up.

Now let’s examine the other side. Democrats are often accused of wanting to raise taxes. Well, Democrats in Congress have fought tooth and nail against tax cuts for decades, Dukakis promised he would raise them in the 1988 election bid, Bill Clinton raised taxes astronomically (largest increase in history), and John Kerry said he would too if elected. Who is really hurting the middle class? So, this sounds like a fair criticism.

Democrats are often accused of being anti-military. After Bush Sr. left office, Clinton slashed military and intelligence funding to anemic levels. Anyone ever see Black Hawk Down? Ever hear of the Torricelli Principle? John Kerry’s 20-year record in Congress shows a consistent pattern of voting for military and intelligence cuts. Kerry voted against the $87 billion for funding the Iraq war, and promises to discontinue funding for bunker-busting bombs, which are basically the only way to destroy underground weapon stockpiles. Republicans, on the other hand, consistently increase spending on the military whenever in charge.

Dick Cheney was chastised for stating that the U.S. would be safer if he and Bush were reelected, but isn’t there a valid case to be made based on the Democrats’ history? Whose policies led to the Cuban Missile Crisis? Who dragged out Vietnam? Who won the Cold War? Was Cheney merely stating that he and Bush were the best guys for the job, or was this a scare tactic? When Kerry states that he will fight “a more sensitive war” in Iraq, and constantly vacillates on this critical issue, then does he not open himself up to criticism? After admitting that he was frozen for 40 minutes upon hearing of the 9-11 attacks, then does he not make Bush’s seven minutes seem miniscule? Ted Kennedy provides the best illustration of fear mongering when he claims that Bush’s policies will lead to a nuclear attack. So, it seems that this is another fair criticism.

Although much of the media are biased in favor of the Democratic Party, and make every attempt to portray Republicans as the masters of scare tactics, the American people are perceptive enough to see who has truly patented this sinister methodology. It is up to the average voter to make sure that it is understood that these despicable and hypocritical tactics have become ineffective and are no longer acceptable.

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