Monday, August 14, 2006

“The November election will teach Dick Cheney and others of his ilk that they cannot use fear to cling to power.”

So saith the senator from Massachusettes, Teddy Kennedy.

Tell us, Senator, what should a person use to cling to power?


Political advantages and favors from lobbyists?

The lasting memory of siblings that were greater than you?

The ability to stay afloat on the waters of Chappaquiddick?


I'm not saying that the current administration hasn't used fear as a means to keep power. Every administration - indeed, every politician - has used some amount of fear to either gain or keep power. During any campaign, you'll hear something like If you elect me, then I will be able to take us to greatness - if you elect my opponent, we won't be as great as we could be and we'll probably be much worse. On the surface this appears rather benign, but there is an element of fear here - the fear that America won't be as secure/strong/wonderful/bouyant/whatever if the opponent wins.

Every person seeking office does this - elect me and we'll do wonderful things, but if you elect someone else, we won't be as wonderful. It would be great to think that we elect leaders on the basic of their abilities or their charisma/charm, but the truth is that we often elect leaders because we fear what the other person will do.

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