The Freedom Threat

For the past three months I’ve been inundated with appeals for funds by various Republican and Democratic candidates and both political parties. But I’ve noticed that there’s a fundamental difference.

Almost every Republican appeal is not only fear-based, but it’s always about how those vile Democrats are going to take away “your freedoms.” They’re going to take away your freedom to own a gun [despite the fact that the Second Amendment preludes that, if admittedly, Democrats possibly might not allow high-speed, multiple-shot, mass-killing weapons]. Republicans charge that Democrats will have the FBI raiding your home [especially if you have top-secret documents illegally]. They’re going to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, and all of them are after you [even though the point of the agents and the additional funds is to answer phone calls the IRS hasn’t had enough people to answer for years; to handle tax returns that have taken extra months, if not years, to process; to fill vacancies that have existed for years; and to have enough people to go after high-income tax cheats, who’ve gotten away with fraudulent tax returns for years]. Yes, those Democrats are going to take away your country [that is, they want true equality for all ethnicities and genders]. They’ll take away your freedom to infect other people [can’t have required immunizations even when they’ve proved to reduce and eliminate childhood and other deaths from infectious diseases]. And, of course, they’ll actually charge the Republicans’ beloved Donald Trump with the crimes he’s already committed.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are more concerned about freedoms that the Republicans have already restricted or attempted to restrict, such as women’s freedom to control their own bodies and reproductive rights. Democrats also oppose Republican initiatives and recent laws that make it harder for ethnic minorities to vote and thus to hold office, as well as legal and legislative initiatives to allow state government officials to override election results, which Republicans have already done in several states with regard to legal ballot initiatives. Democrats also oppose Republican bans on books that only Republicans seem to find objectionable.

So, from what I can see, Republicans are fearmongering on what Democrats might do, even when such acts are Constitutionally impossible, while Democrats are fearmongering about what Republicans have already done and what they want to extend to the whole country.

Whether many people, especially Republicans, will understand the difference is another question.

5 thoughts on “The Freedom Threat”

  1. Postagoras says:

    I don’t think Republicans will understand the difference.

    A lot of Republican voters have no trouble believing that Democrats are completely unreasonable, so the message is fear about what the Democrats’re going to do.

    Whereas a lot of Democratic voters believe that Republican voters aren’t that unreasonable, so the message is fear about what the Republicans’ve actually done.

    The Trump voters have done a good job of convincing the Democratic voters about their unreasonability, though.

  2. Hanneke says:

    Is it fair to call both fearmongering, when one side is projecting wild fantasies to whip up unnecessary fears, and the other is pointing out realistic threats?

    1. Tim says:

      Here in the UK, that sentiment was often expressed in the Brexit campaign.

  3. Hanneke says:

    I do regret that making people afraid and angry is (now?) considered the best way to get them to go out and vote for you, and it has become almost the only thing people hear about political choices. It is incredibly polarising, bad for society to get people all riled up and believing “the other half” to be bad people planning evil.

    Presenting options to resolve real problems that people are having to deal with, enabling a choice about a postive view of the future, would be much better. But promising any kind of solution that would need some bipartisan effort towards governing will only lead to disappointing voters who hoped for, and urgently needed, those promised solutions, as the party of NO is not interested in a functioning government.
    And disappointed voters have a tendency not to vote again for those who couldn’t deliver the promised solutions, so Democrats who tended to talk about policies and campaign on solving real problems lose their voters to either apathy, more extreme splinter-parties, or the opposite side “who do deliver on their promises” (never mind it’s easy to deliver on promises based on your own lies and exaggerations, like ‘Democrats won’t come to take your guns’ when Democrats were not going to do so anyway).
    Real solutions generally need bipartisan compromises, while just blocking everything is easier. So it becomes easier and more politically astute to promise to block or stop something your voters fear, than to promise to achieve something that will really help solve a problem and provide a better future.

    1. Darcherd says:

      Well said.

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