Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fear and Elections

This last weekend you may have seen coverage of the rally on the National Mall with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

The "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" was part in jest, to be sure, but it made a very valid point--people think differently when they are afraid, or angry, than when they are not. So much of this blog has been about the "lizard brain" and how it gets in our way. But it seems fight or flight is carrying a bigger load these days.

So much of our media cycle is driven by fear. Fear, of anything from infected remotes to global warming to impending socialism, is what passes for news today. It pulls in viewers--"what's in your water that might kill you?" has a way of making you curious, no?

Rational discussion seems to have departed the airwaves. Why bore people when you can stoke their fears?If you can convince people that the opposing candidate is like Hitler, they are pretty motivated to go to the voting booth. With the elections today, let's hope than reason, and reasoned differences, prevail over screaming and name-calling.


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