The War on Imaginary Threats
This is one of the core methodologies of how the Republican Party makes its living:
- Create a threat.
- Promote the idea that the threatening threat is very, very threatening. Increase power on the propogandamizer until people feel suitably threatened by the really threatening threat.
- Campaign on promises to defend against it.
- If elected, go out and attack something to show the threatening threat who's boss.
- Act all shocked (shocked!) when the target retaliates or protests -- a new Threat to America!
We're savedI mean how terrible, and we must bomb, torture, imprison, or harass more people to show them we really mean business!
- Where possible, attempt to capitalize on whatever fear has been created by selling people things: Glenn Beck's gold coins, Jim Bakker's barely-survival food...
You may think I'm exaggerating -- but a number of right-wing pundits were actually recorded on camera saying, apparently without irony, that "we need a new 9/11" so that people will take the threatening threat seriously, and elect more threat-defending Republicans to office. None of them were laughed off the set, nor even seem to have lost any credibility in dysconservative circles.
Among the fake threats Republicans have ginned up are the following:
- non-heterosexuals and non-cisgendered people: they're different from the majority in certain ways that trigger deep-seated instinctive emotions in many people, and therefore trigger unconscious emotional reactions. Most people want to help prevent violence against such people, who have a hard enough time as it is; Republicans smell an easy kill.
- black people, especially the ones who complain about being demonized ("playing the race card"): Republicans like to pretend that racism is over because we have a black president (who himself has been the target of endless obscenely racial abuse), but we are increasingly seeing evidence from smartphone recordings which show that black people have been telling the truth all along about how they are treated by the police in many places (just for example). It ain't over, and sometimes it seems like it's getting worse.
- hispanics: they're apparently lazy layabouts who lie around a lot sucking up public welfare while somehow also taking our jobs. Nice trick, that.
- Muslims: Republicans would have us believe that Islam is far more violent than Christianity, but both history and recent events show Christian extremists to be no less bloodthirsty than their Islamic counterparts
- abortion: aborting a pregnancy at any stage is apparently exactly the same as killing a baby; the fact that abortion is a medical procedure which results in bloody masses of tissue that may or may not vaguely resemble human infants proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt, and justifies killing doctors, harassing their colleagues, and vandalizing their workplaces. Ayup.
- contraception: despite supposedly being against abortion, dysconservatives are also against contraception. The gap in logic is clear to everyone except, apparently, them. One is forced to conclude that the real goal of anti-abortion efforts is actually to maximize reproduction and ensure that women remain in a position of servitude.
- liberals: apparently there is a growing contingent on the far-right which fervently believes that liberals have destroyed, or are destroying, or want to destroy, America -- while liberals are in fact pretty much the only people who are actually trying to fix and improve things, rather than just using a pose of fixing things as a pretext for gaining power.
- terrorists: yes, they actually kill people -- but far less than many other phenomena that Republicans seem to have no trouble ignoring or even playing down. Deaths from terrorism have been on a decline for the past few decades, as well; this is not a new problem, and it's getting better on its own. Terrorists have been one of the primary excuses for dysconservative hypocrisy on the subject of small government: they brought us the dysfunctional TSA (which replaced a private, for-profit system which was working just fine, thanks), a now-even-more-biggerer-than-ever-before Military Industrial Complex, increased government surveillance and reduced rights of privacy against same: 1984 in a bottle (just add media).
- communism or even socialism: It needs to be understood that the concept of an ideological system struggle between "Free Market Capitalism" and "Communism" is largely a myth told to children. [further explanation needed]
- sex education: Dysconservatives often state the belief that teaching children about sex will make them want to have it (as if sexual instincts didn't exist), or will cause more pregnancies (the opposite is true), or is evil (because religious superstition says so).
- masturbation: Dysconservatives are so grossed out by the idea of people stimulating themselves sexually (a good way to prevent unintended pregnancies, and found to be medically and psychologically healthy) that they will use "big government" to fight against anything that might help with it. So much for the much-vaunted "right to privacy".
Oddly enough, they seem to go out of their way to downplay any genuine threats to society, such as increasing economic inequality or global warming. One almost suspects there might be some kind of monetary connection involved...
- Republian lawmakers everywhere seem to think that LGBT people deserve all the discrimination and abuse they can get:
- Clare Lopez, one of Ted Cruz's primary foreign policy advisers, has expanded the popular right-wing claim of fictional "Muslim No-Go Zones" in certain areas by suggesting that there is one such zone in Minneapolis.
- Credit is due to Edward Morbius (see comments here) for this formulation.
- see Ted Cruz/War on Dildos
- 2016-04-07 Meet The Man Writing More Hate Into The Texas Constitution
- 2016-04-07 Cruz Adviser Claims Minneapolis Has Muslim 'No-Go' Zones