Examples can probably be found in both the left and right wings of American politics. Examples of scare tactics, that is. Or maybe we could call it the politics of fear.
Recently I have found, without really looking, several examples of scare tactics used by political conservatives, vocal right-wingers. Marybeth Hicks is an example. She is an attractive, young (she looks young to me, anyway) author and weekly columnist for the Washington Times.
Ms. Hicks’ new book was published last year. The full title is Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left’s Assault on our Families, Faith, and Freedom. She declares that the political Left’s goal is to topple “the three-legged stool on which our nation rests: religion, the traditional family, and free market capitalism” (p. xi).
While there are perhaps some legitimate concerns expressed by Ms. Hicks, overall she seems to be mainly an alarmist, using scare tactics for political purposes. And it is not hard to figure out that her main political purpose is persuading voters this year to elect conservative candidates rather than liberal ones.
No telling how many other authors/books are similar to Don’t Let the Kids . . . One other such book is Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama (2010), a 500+ page tome by David Limbaugh (b. 1952), the younger brother of Rush Limbaugh. In that book the President is charged with crimes of various and sundry sorts, such as crimes against “the people,” the constitution, and national security.
One of the most vocal journalists/authors who uses scare tactics and highly controversial language to oppose non-conservative politicians and political positions is Ann Coulter (b. 1961). Her newest book is titled Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America (2011).
The books by Hicks and Limbaugh present a very strong polemic against “liberals” in American society, but they not as outrageous as Coulter. And while politicians and their supporters often demonize their opponents, few are as blatant as Coulter.
The title of her first chapter is “The Liberal Mob,” and she begins with these words: “The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic.” Then halfway down the same page she asserts, “The Democratic Party is the party of the mob.”
There are, of course, those who oppose and criticize the Right, and the Republican Party. But I have been unable to find any example of people on the Left who have blatantly used the same sort of scare tactics through recently published books. (There may well be some, but I have tried, and failed, to find any good examples. I would be happy to consider suggestions from readers.)
Everyone has a right to their own political opinion, and they should, of course, vote according to their convictions. But those opinions and convictions should be based on a rational consideration of opposing views, a fair appraisal of the facts at hand, and a concerted effort to find the truth of the matters about with the political candidates and their supporters speak.
Allowing one’s opinion to be formed by people using scare tactics and then voting because of succumbing to such tactics is an affront to true democracy and a threat to the well-being of a nation.