Saturday, November 15, 2014
Stephen Harper and the Politics of Fear
As I've mentioned several times recently, I've never seen this country so paranoid and so fearful.
So that even a small marine police exercise in the bay the other day, had some people wondering whether the terrorists were coming.
The ones Stephen Harper would have us believe would behead us in our bedrooms.
Which helps explain why I've never seen him look so happy, and yet so deranged...
To see the Fear Factor glowing red, even on Parliament Hill.
A chill has descended on Parliament Hill over the past month, and it has little to do with the capital’s long winter.
The shootings at the National War Memorial and Centre Block, followed by a chain of allegations about sexual harassment in political offices, have ratcheted up the fear factor on Parliament Hill.
Because as he once told one of his cowed flunkies, there is nothing he enjoys more than seeing fear in the eyes of others.
And watching how it boosts his polls...
And being able to dream again of winning the next election.
Conventional wisdom says the Conservatives benefit when the population is fearful, so all the nervousness in Ottawa and beyond these days is supposed to be good news for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the 2015 election.
And Susan Delacourt is right, this is the Big Question:
So, will fear be a theme for the 2015 election too? If so, will the voters reward the politicians who soothe their fears, or the ones who whip them up?
And what makes all of the above even more disturbing is that Harper isn't just trying to scare Canadians.
Like all other Cons he's scared shitless HIMSELF !!!
A study published last year in the American Journal of Political Science would seem to support that view — in part. By looking at the connection between individuals’ political leanings and their tendency to be afraid, they found that fear and conservatism were closely linked.
Rose McDermott, a Brown University political scientist and one of the authors of the study, put it this way: “It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative,” she said.
And actually it's even worse than that, because other studies have shown that the Cons can't help themselves.
It's the fear gland in their BRAINS !!!
Peering inside the brain with MRI scans, researchers at University College London found that self-described conservative students had a larger amygdala than liberals. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is active during states of fear and anxiety.
And it explains EVERYTHING...
Most societies are divided into a party that wants change (the more liberal party) and one that is afraid of change (the conservatives). The liberal party is generally more intellectual and the conservative party is more anti-intellectual.
The conservative party is big on national defense and magnifies our perception of threat, whether of foreign aggressors, immigrants, terrorists, or invading ideologies like Communism. To a conservative, the world really is a frightening place.
And the question is how do we fight the Fear Factor, and those Con chickens?
Before they scare themselves silly, and turn into hawks.
And start taking away our freedoms to make themselves feel safer. While scaring Canadians into voting for them anyway.
And the good news? In times like these, hope is a mighty weapon.
An election campaign built around fear has a big problem — it crowds out that other powerful political commodity, hope. These may be fearful times around Parliament Hill and in Canada at large, but one assumes that Canadians, conservative or otherwise, want to hear that these fears will pass, someday.
And if and when the progressive parties finally start framing the election as a choice between the darkness and the depravity of the Con regime.
And a vision of a brighter more hopeful future...
Something Stephen Harper can never match, because for him the world is a fearful ugly place, full of real and imagined enemies.
They will find a lot of Canadians hungry for what they have to offer.
Our vision of Canada will prevail.
The Cons will be defeated.
And hope will conquer fear...
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