Posted by: coastcontact | December 20, 2015

The Fear Factor and Its Consequences

Presidential Candidates and the Press are promoting fear to advance their agendas.

The fear factor has infiltrated America. Turn on any news program and there is an item about Muslims and radical jihad. The fear factor is taking over our sense of judgement. GOP presidential candidates and the press are enhancing and thriving on the fear. Cable news stations have found this topic as a subject that keeps the viewers tuned in and that means more advertisers and more revenue that leads to more profit.  The presidential candidates want to convey the idea that they are tough so they talk up their willingness to confront ISIS and Al-Qaeda. At the same time those candidates tell us that President Obama is not doing enough to destroy that enemy. He has no strategy and really doesn’t want to confront ISIS is their argument.

Watching Fox News Sunday today it was Juan Williams, the in-house moderate, who asked which presidential candidate was prepared to send an American army into Syria and Iraq. Williams asked what would any of those candidates for president do that is different than the actions being taken by Obama. The studio went quiet. No one had a response to Williams’ question.

Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have based their campaigns on fear and hate. Trump lays out the scenarios and Cruz simply campaigns on the same ideas. They are the leading candidates in most state and national polls and that is the frightening fact.

If we are to take them at their word all illegal aliens would be deported to their country of origin regardless of how long they have lived in the United States. Many of those people own homes, hold jobs, and have been part of American society for decades. Muslims would be subject to invasion of their privacy and monitored as potential terrorists even though they are citizens by birth. Birth citizenship would be denied if Trump had his way.

You may say I am putting words into Trump’s mouth but he has insisted that he was more like FDR now than any leader since, according to his statement on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. This appearance on that MSNBC program is great for increasing that cable station’s viewership and revenue.

Barracks at Manzanar

Barracks at Manzanar, where about 10,000 Japanese Americans were interned, as seen in 1942.(Los Angeles Times)

Seventy-three years ago, during World War II, the United States government forcibly removed 110,000 Japanese Americans from their homes and confined them in detention camps. Loyal citizens lost their property and liberty, based solely on their ancestry. The Korematsu decision validated that action: Relying on a deeply flawed evidentiary record — which included blatant racial animus, hyperbolized threats and misrepresentations by government lawyers — the Supreme Court ruled that the need to protect against the threat of espionage outweighed individual rights. -Los Angeles Times December 18, 2015

One of the comments posted on line about this story is a stunner. “WHAT NOBODY is speaking or writing about is that the Japanese incarceration was done for THEIR OWN GOOD AND BENEFIT. It was to keep them safe from harm of being murdered. Had any been murdered there would have been NO JURY that would have convicted the killer. In fact he may have been glorified. You just aren’t old enough if you know nothing about that and those days.”

The stories told by those held in those camps tell of lack of food, lack of sanitary facilities, and other deprivations. Those people were rounded up in days and put into the camps. Their homes and businesses were confiscated.

The leading GOP candidate for president, Donald Trump, has suggested the federal government create a data base of all Muslims and perhaps have them carry identification cards. Is the next step internment camps for Muslims?

Trump’s ability to attract large crowds at his campaign stops is a frightening message. Watching The Sound of Music (the Von Trapps fled Austria as the Nazis rose to power) sends the message that good people will rise above the messages of hate.

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