I'm sitting with an uncle at a family reunion last month and it became clear to me that his right wing politics is fear based. Everything that he talked about was fear based. What if Obama encourages the terrorists... we must stand behind Israel. I of course noted the USS Liberty and said that we have more to fear from Israel than we do Hamas. What if health care doesn't work? People are dying for profit now... the fear scenario of people dying is happening. I put up a link on Facebook that suggests it's time to shrink the military because we have bases in 63 counties and the cost is burdensome. The objections that I got were based on us not having bases in Europe between WWI and WWII. More fear that doesn't speak to me.

In terms of religion, most of us don't allow fear to drive us to be believers. If fear was a motivating factor, we'd all be deeply religious. But we laugh off the threats of Hell. "Yes.. the molecules of my soul are going to burn? How might that feel with no actual molecules or a nervous system to connect them?" The world has been walking away from religion for many years. The US is joining and we are beginning to run from it. The politics of fear isn't working for the Republicans either. For the last 30 years fear has been the rally cry. Now it seems like less and less people care to hear the fear and want to find solutions. We hear no solutions coming from the right, only about the death and destruction of our ways. Can Mitch McConnell hear the crickets yet? 

Is this a generational thing? I'm mid-30's and so my parents are on the tail end of the fear of nuclear war crowd. As a kid there were many fears... strangers, razors in Apples at Halloween, fear of not wearing a hat because the nasty bacteria apparently only got the kids without a hat on, Santa watching, Jesus Watching, Russians, etc. Turns out it was all garbage and instead of the lies being able to continue in pockets if nothing else, the lies can be quickly checked out with the access of the internet. Those chain emails get debunked on my list long before most have even read it. No more garbage in, no more garbage out.  

Our age ranges here run from 13 to 80+. Does anyone else feel the same? The world is changing in large part because we have subconsciously figured out the game of fear of everything? What have your experiences been and how do those experience agree and differ? Is it the ability to share ideas quickly that is crushing the fear perpetrators? 
  

Tags: Fear, Politics, Religion

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Fear is the great motivator. Fear and sex sell. FOX News has this figured out. They have sexy females deliver portents of doom on a daily basis.

But, I don't think much has changed other than the amount of information assailing us and the ability of people to choose from a variety of sources, though they often choose similar sources and create an echochamber that amplifies the fear message. Other than that, I think there has always been fear of change with the passage of time and there are always people out there willing to use that fear to benefit.
Do you think access to information has allowed us to refute the bad information more quickly which aids in stopping fear propaganda from taking hold? IE, Fear Iran... quick look up and see if you can find an incidence of an Iranian army leaving it's borders, argument and fear negated. Fear North Korea... um, they can't feed themselves or fire an effective missile. This Axis of Evil is pretty impotent but in the 60's, only the highly educated would know this. It seems that the groups looking to change don't form arguments based on fear and reject those that have that basis.
No, I don't think that has generally been the case. People are notoriously lazy and the act of researching a topic is not something a majority of people will do. They rely more on anecdotal accounts and opinions of peers. And even if they do the research, many people don't have the skill set or even the desire to weed out the reputable information and sources from all the fluff and misinformation. They would prefer to take whatever validates their opinion regardless of its veracity.

For Skeptics, I do think it has been the case. I can more easily find facts and information that before would be unavailable to me without some serious research skills and library time. But, we are in the minority, it seems.
This is a very good point. Probably why conservative talk radio is so popular. Neal Boortz said it, and I agree with him, so it must be true! I know people who listen to this bullshit every day and live a life of fear, although they won't admit it.
Yeah, I know many people like that, too. They have passionate opinions that are based on lies and/or half truths. And they never seem to be inclined to give ear to reasonable explanations or corrections. In fact, they hate it and get angry when confronted with something other than what they believe to be true.
I was a child during the London Blitz and saw what evil could do to the human race, and did not believe in a god from then on.and will never change my mind because I am older..
Yes it is fear-mongering when you are told you will go to a bad place when you die.
As I have got older I have got less fearful and could not believe any religion would like to kill. I always thought as a child that if there was a god he must have been rich as the rich seem to always look after the rich.
I believe the internet is opening up the world joining the young together, and am very grateful for Think Atheist.
Of course I have a mind of my own. I have no fear of dying because I know I will not know about it but fear about my legacy to my son and grandchildren, but hope I have told them to think for themselves.
There will always be gullible people whilst religion exists.
After the cold war was over the US needed an excuse to keep up its vast
military-industrial complex. Most Americans wanted a 50% cut in military spending, but
the government [i.e., corporate America] was fearful that it would lose its control of nations
which supplied the US with natural resources and trade goods through coercion. In order to
maintain its control over these nations it had established a network of military bases around
the world--over 700--to prevent any popular uprisings by the indigenous people wanting to overthrow their corrupt governments which were under the thumb of the US.

The US government knew Americans would not be willing to let their sons and daughters die for
corporate profit, so, after the commie threat was eliminated, it needed to invent new fears to justify spending trillions on a bloated defense budget.

In order to accomplish this and also to boost his sagging poll numbers Bush the Elder invaded Panama and arrested Noriega on charges of money laundering, murder, embezzlement among several other charges. None of Noriega’s crimes had bothered the American government when he had worked for its CIA for some 20 years.

But the invasion of Panama by 25,000 US troops, who killed thousands of civilians, did not create the needed support Bush’s administration was looking for, so secret plans for the invasion of Iraq began. The public was indoctrinated with horror stories about how Saddam Hussein was a sadistic monster in the process of building a nuclear bomb to attack the US [a public seemingly unaware that Saddam had been created and maintained in power by the US government]. A gullible public, deliberately misled by the corporate media, rose up, like lemmings, in support of the war. We must ‘Support Our Troops!’ was the rallying cry--anyone who objected to the war was branded ‘un-American’.

Under Bush the Younger we saw the same scenario played out again with the added boogeyman of TERRORISM. And, today, the same old fear tactics continue under Obama.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-12/the-comin...

Seems like the only thing conservative objection screamers have going for them is the fear that if birth control were free, then the U.S would be over run with the crotchety crickets.
I mean, this is contrary to every other country in the industrialized world's statistics. Contrary to reality. Contrary to countries that have higher standards of living than we do...
But as you said.
Fear sells.
I bet that they'd say free birth control for left wingers and atheists is ok with them!
Until it becomes apparent that the only ones getting abortions are their 17 year old daughters.
Then they might rethink that stance.
I wonder if they'd still try to repeal abortion if their girls were the only ones using that particular service.
"The Culture of Fear" by Barry Glassner is a good book on this subject (preferably the tenth anniversary edition as its more up to date). I read it for a sociology class, and it really opened my eyes. I definately research things better now.
312 pages! It had better be good Lindsey or Iama holdn' you responsible. Sounds interesting.

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