A must-read column from journalist Sasha Abramsky, which ran in the Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, and elsewhere, captures the GOP’s ugly and cynical strategy of stoking and exploiting fear this election cycle.
Key excerpts of the column, “Trump’s GOP is running hard on the politics of fear,” are below:
If you are a Republican candidate in 2018, chances are pretty good that you’re running hard on the politics of fear.
… Today’s Trumpian GOP takes the fear-mongering much further. Its strategists are, in meaningful ways, using the same propaganda playbook as did the fascists of earlier eras in Germany and Italy. Shout the big lie often enough and people will believe it; make people fearful enough and they will follow you down any dark road.
… The GOP has followed Trump faithfully; and now, in the 2018 election season, Republicans have no other game but fear to play. They pander to, and seek to stimulate, white distrust of black people and brown people, Christian distrust of Muslims, heterosexual distrust of gay people. Make enough people fearful about enough things, GOP strategists seem to believe, and you can neutralize distaste for all the chaos and cruelty of Trump’s administration and its enablers.
… Republican ads this election season highlight everything from mask-wearing “antifa” protesters to Black Lives Matter demonstrations. All are seen as an undifferentiated threat.
This fear-mongering is fraying the political fabric of the country in ways that will be extraordinarily difficult to repair, institutionalizing intolerance and normalizing the previously unspeakable. Trump will, one day, be gone. But the longer he remains in power, and the longer the GOP hews to his toxic politics, the more enduring his shameful legacy will be.