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Soft Core Terrorism

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Using terrorist tools, fear and hate

Obviously, it is much easier for angry, tub-thumping demagogues to use fear and hate, those primitive emotional tools, to intensify tribal differences and rile mobs to anger and destruction, than it is to calmly and logically discuss truths, and motivate disparate people to peacefully cooperate and build together.

In the political arena, fear and hate act as a compelling flame, beckoning frightened followers into a disturbing feeding frenzy, regurgitating their own fears for the consumption of others. Leaders arise by encouraging smoldering animosity, fanning these fires, and promising to relieve the burning anxiety and tensions that they, themselves generated. These leaders talk of carpet-bombing the feared and hated, building great walls to keep them out, and forcefully removing those already among us. These things, it is promised, will ease our self-incited distress, and lead us to a shiny, bright world of peace and prosperity. It is a primordial, threadbare fable, beyond belief, embraced by millions of Americans, reinforced by today's right-wing politicians and their media minstrels.

There is an excellent reason for right-wingers to be pushing their terrorist agenda, this is an election year and the Republicans have nothing of substance to offer the American voter. Instead, they promote fear, hate, guns, walls, wars, and phony-baloney voodoo economics, while avoiding discussing their true agenda, cutting Medicare, Social Security, environmental protections and taxes for the rich.

The truly important economic and social issues of our time are being shoved aside by their forced focus on terrorism. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have systems in place to repel and kill terrorists, both at home and abroad, but there are larger issues that affect us all that are not being addressed because of the trumped-up belief that we, and our friends and families, are all about to be murdered by terrorists.

Let's put this into perspective: In the United States, over the past decade, there have been, on average, about 4 killings per year by people identified as Islamic terrorists. Over that time, we were 40 times more likely to be killed by a deer, and even last year, more Americans were killed by gun-toting toddlers, under the age of three, than in the recent San Bernardino attack. America, we have much, much bigger fish to fry.

Fear and hate are also the primary tools of terrorists, used to frighten and control the huddled masses. They make videos of their kills to brag to the outside world and to draw-in supporters. All mass media are complicit with them, as they all promote fear. It is a truly symbiotic relationship, where the terrorists gain wide-spread dissemination of their propaganda and the media revel in the increased viewers/readers/listeners and the added sponsorship income that follows. It's a "win-win." While many studies have shown that Fox News viewers are the most misled of any major news outlet, Fox also seems to outshine all others when it comes to peddling paranoia and hate. One of the main goals of terrorists is to exploit the uncertainty, fear, and suspicion following an attack, and Fox has honed those skills to sharp points. If you watch Fox, be alert to how many opinions the performers put forth that are oozing suspicion, hate, or fear. Even if you happen to agree with what they are selling, ask yourself if Fox's over-the-top, bombastic hype crosses over from legitimate right-wing political propaganda to orchestrated, soft-core terrorism.

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Mike Kirchubel writes a weekly Progressive/Economic column for the Fairfield, California Daily Republic and is the author of: Vile Acts of Evil, a look at the hidden economic history of the United States. Vile Acts of Evil almost wrote itself. (more...)
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