Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
"Fear," a great Jedi master named Yoda once said, "leads to anger," which leads to hate, which leads to suffering, which, of course, leads to the Dark Side.
And while Yoda's warning was directed at the long-ago problems of a galaxy, far, far away, we'd do well to take it in stride right now in the United States in 2015.
That's because fear has reached an absolute fever pitch in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, and, as Tuesday night's Republican debate showed, it's taking our politics into a dark and very disturbing place.
When the candidates weren't coming up with fun and unique ways to start World War III, they were debating whether or not Muslim human beings deserve rights like other human beings, and talking about ISIS like it's an army of fascist zombies that owns its very own Death Star.
The conversation was apocalyptic, bizarre and terrifying.
In other words, it went down exactly the way Republicans wanted it to go down. They've always used fear to win elections.
Whether it's fear of same-sex couples getting married, fear of the government taking away the people's guns or fear of Black men, they've always understood that fear works to motivate their white base.
Fear works because it appeals to our basic animal instinct to stay safe, and it makes the simplest, inane and most downright evil solutions sound smart.
This is great for Republicans because they don't have any real solutions, but it's awful for our democracy and keeps us from having an honest conversation about the things that are really hurting our country.
Terrorism is a problem; no one denies that. But Republicans and their enablers in the media are blowing it way out of proportion.
There's no reason Americans should be as scared about it as they are, and according to recent polls, they're more worried about terrorist attacks now than they have been at any time since 9/11.
This makes sense in the wake of a non-stop media and Republican scare campaign, but it's still ridiculous in the face of, you know, facts.
The simple truth of the matter is that terrorist attacks in the United States -- especially those committed by Islamic fundamentalist extremists -- are very, very rare.
Since 9/11, a grand total of 93 people have been killed in terrorist attacks on American soil, and of those 93 people, the majority of them were killed by white conservative terrorists.
Could the real reason everyone is terrified of ISIS and not abortion clinic bombers be that the people who sympathize with ISIS are more often than not brown of skin and "foreign-looking?"
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