Showing posts with label Appeal to Fear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Appeal to Fear. Show all posts

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Amazing Words

A response on Quora regarding Wayne LaPierre's speech at the NRA convention this year.

Fear, fear, and more fear. Keep the boogeyman alive, lurking in the shadows, ready to jump out and snatch our children, our guns, and our freedom. It rallies the base and keeps the donations coming.

To paraphrase Mr. LaPierre, all around the country people tell him they have never been more worried about their country. They "feel" like their freedoms are slipping away, and lie awake at night worrying about their families, their children, and the future.

What a miserable existence they must have, and all unwarranted.

To quote directly from his speech:
"In a nation in which, almost everywhere you look, in profoundly troubling ways, freedom has been diminished. Our right to gather, our right to speak, our financial freedom, our right to care for our families as we see fit, our religious freedom, our right to privacy - all of it in decline."

What the hell is he talking about? 

Our right to peacefully gather is still safe. Does he not remember the March for Life in Washington in January? Or the Occupy movement?

Our right to speak? What? What was he doing at the NRA convention? Isn't Fox News and MSNBC still on the air? Can he name one newspaper the government has shut down? Aren't birthers still challenging President Obama's citizenship?

Our financial freedom? Sure, the economy took a dive in 2008. People lost their jobs and suffered economically. Banks and corporations suffered, though many got immediate government assistance. Some regulations have been restored to about what they were in the mid 1990s, when the economy was booming. There is bickering about raising taxes, like there has been over the last century. But can he name one instance where the government has seized assets of an individual or company without cause? Or one instance where the government without cause specifically restricted the ability of an individual or company to do business? No, laws and regulations are equally applied.

Our right to care for our families as we see fit? Can he name one instance where the federal government interfered with what a law-abiding family did in their own home as far as what they taught their children, chose for their diet, what media they watched, what entertainment they chose, or dictated what places they went, or what church they intended? If a family uses any public service, such as the schools, what family has been forced to live under rules that did not apply to everyone else?

Our religious freedom? Can he name one church, synagogue, or mosque that has been shut down? Or one instance where a government official walked into a place or worship and told the minister, priest, rabbi, or imam they could not express what they believed (as long as they did not illegally advocate violence against others)? Certain conservative groups have tried to prevent the building of new mosques, but not the government.

Can Mr. LaPierre name one instance where Christians or those of any other religion have been denied the right to peacefully assemble or express their views? Did he miss the following events where they did so?

Again, as far as religious freedom, can he name one instance where a church or individual has been told they could not display a nativity scene or other religious symbol on private property? 

There are those who feel the government should favor and support their religion above others in government-funded institutions, and these issues are being sorted out in court as they always have been. However, as far as direct government restrictions upon individuals or places of worship, there is not one instance where a US citizen has been prohibited free exercise of religion while in their home, place of worship, or in a lawful public assembly.

Now, on our right to privacy, I agree that both liberals and conservatives have questioned the provisions of the Patriot Act and Executive Orders issued under both President Bush and President Obama. That will be sorted out by the courts and Congress, as is appropriate.

The rest of it is the usual rhetoric, and by usual I mean baseles and inaccurate, to create enough fear to rally the base into a frenzy and oppose anything linked to a Democratic initiative or President Obama. And of course, to keep financial donations to the NRA coming so the NRA can save us from all this peril.

Does anyone wonder why US politics and culture are polarized?

And as far as the Second Amendment right to bear arms, The ten-year ban on assault rifles that started in 1994 expired in 2004. Legislation was proposed in 2013 to basically renew the ban, but it failed to pass. If it had passed it would have banned the sale of assault weapons but would not have affected the ones already owned. President Obama's Executive Orders concerning the purchase of firearms merely clarified existing regulations or brought them to levels that previously existed. 

As far as gun laws passed by state legislatures after the shooting at Sandy Hook, about two thirds of those laws loosened restrictions on firearms. 

Like it or not, the right to buy and own firearms in the United States has not changed in any significant way during the administration of President Obama. Some may see that as a failure, others as success, but that is the reality of the situation.

One of the finest comments I have ever read. I hope it will change some minds. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday, May 02, 2014

Good Words (I ♥ Quora Edition)

From one of my Quora questions...

I can't speak to the conservative pundits who I don't listen to or follow, but I can say a few things about conservative forums I've trolled. The typical commenter has a very different POV, informed by an entirely different set of 'facts'. If I can make some gross generalizations about their worldview: 

  • the world they live in is a scary, scary place filled with monsters they are constantly being beseiged by: the federal government, lazy brown people who commit crimes and appropriate their hard earned tax dollars, liberal bureaucracy, liberal media trying to brainwash them 
  • the world is full of sinister conspiracies--malevolent, omniscient forces are always at work in the world and target them specifically 
  • they are amongst a band of surviving 'real Americans' that still uphold 'traditional values' in contrast to the sinful, frivolous, un-American populace 
  • news and events are local--they have little interest in international affairs or global perspectives on American issues 
  • America is the best, the greatest, and is exceptional in every way--that specialness is constantly being threatened from within by liberal elements who are sabotaging this ideal and trying to make the country more like the rest 
  • you must agree entirely with all of the stated beliefs of their conservative agenda, or you are a dangerous, free-thinking liberal--it's very binary 
  • if you are hold progressive positions, or don't identify with reactionary paranoid extremism, you are immediately presumed to be lazy, non-taxpaying, of dubious virtue and poorly educated.

Well, that pretty much sums up Kevin Baker, every single one of his commenters, and the right wing blogsphere! I wonder if they will ever realize this is exactly how they are and change...

I have to admit as well that I appreciate the wider audience.