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Political Use of Fear
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I'm not even going to finish listening to Whose Freedom? I got the gist and it's just more of the same. But among other charges, Lakoff insists that since 9/11 George W. Bush has systematically manipulated Americans by evoking fear in the guise of terrorism.

At a news conference just a few days ago, Bush personalized this by pointing out to two reporters that "their children's lives were in danger". Here's a snippet from the full press conference:

We are under threat. Some may say, well, he's just saying that to get people to pay attention to him, or try to scare them into -- for some reason -- I would hope our world hadn't become so cynical that they don't take the threats of al Qaeda seriously, because they're real. And it's a danger to the American people. It's a danger to your children, Jim. And it's really important that we do all we can do to bring them to justice.

Well, he's right, isn't he? If there were a terrorist attack within the near future, and Bush had been telling us there was no threat, wouldn't his critics zing him on that?

Do the people criticizing him for fearmongering think that there is no real threat from terrorism? Hmm, well that doesn't seem to be the case, because I hear a lot of opponents of the war in Iraq arguing that the actions there have made us less safe.

So if we're less safe than we were pre-9/11, how in the hell is talking about the threat of terrorism fearmongering? You just can't have it both ways. Pick something to criticize him on and stick to your guns, but this kind of blatant inconsistency undermines the credibility of many of Bush's critics.

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