You know what’s scary? Ebola. You know what else is scary? Isis.
Your recently elected representatives know this. That’s why House and Senate candidates ran 734 ads citing the threat of Ebola between October 21 and 25.
According to an AP poll taken in mid-October, 73 percent of likely voters said the danger ISIS and 74 percent said the danger of Ebola were “extremely or very important” to them.
So very likely it wasn’t Obamacare or immigration reform or fatigue with the current administration that shaped the recent election, it was undiluted terror.
Candidates ran ads that said by failing to secure the border with Mexico, Democrats were going Ebola entry into the United States.
Other candidates claimed that that Isis would soon be crossing the border to attack Americans.
It doesn’t matter that there wasn’t an Ebola epidemic - Fox News seemed to be insisting it was only weeks away, the papers were filled with speculation.
It doesn’t matter that an Isis attack on American soil is an irrational prospect, the cable news channels could talk of nothing else.
It’s easier to resent immigrants if you think of them as potential disease carriers, which diminishes their humanity. You will stop seeing them as people and start seeing them as - well - vermin.
Equally, if you mainly see the beliefs of other cultures and religions as an implicit threat to your own, it’s easier to imagine that the world is out to get you. Out of great strength comes great fear.
The genius of the GOP is that it knows what scares you: from pointless color coded terror alerts to imaginary hordes of jihadists to misplaced anxiety over the Rapture, they anticipate and pander to your freak outs before you even know you’re having them. As they say at Apple, it just works.
We really fall this stuff or they wouldn’t employ it. Propaganda, to call it by its proper name, is the politicians best friend. The recent elections results weren’t about our hopes. This is not a time of hope. They were about our fears.
Fear means big wins for the Daddy party. But fear isn’t enough to govern or maintain your power. That’s why you can expect to hear many more calls for war and many more calls for boots on the ground in the Middle East and many more catcalls at our supposedly milk toast president (whose administration captured and killed Osama Bin Laden, but hey details).
War means fear and fear is always good for business. It’s also good for Republican election results. Expect many more five alarm freak outs until at least 2016.