Democrats accuse Republicans of fear mongering, pointing to how President Donald Trump is playing on fears that America will drown under the weight of illegal foreigners and that they are a threat to our national security and personal safety. And more.
Republicans accuse Democrats of fear mongering, pointing to how the left is sliding America into a socialist oblivion and that the GOP will enslave women and force them into back ally abortions. And more.
So who's right?
They both are. Both sides are using a sickening array of fears, dreads and horrors to drive scaredy-cat Americans to vote. Both sides are playing on the ignorance and the darkest emotions to win. I'm not bothering to count who's using the most scare tactics. Why bother?
Nor am I going to display my total ignorance of history by claiming, as do many commentators, activists and shills, that this is the worst period of divisiveness in American history.
Here are just a couple of examples of worse things:
- [From the War of 1812]: "A small book giving various eye witness accounts of the 'Second Baltimore Riot', one of the most violent anti-federalists attacks during the War of 1812. The first riot took place just over a month before when the Baltimore based “pro-British” Federalist newspaper The Federal Republican denounced the declaration of war. On the night of June 20th a mob stormed the newspaper’s offices destroying the building and its contents. A truce was eventually negotiated and the owner of the paper, Alexander Hanson, and his employees were taken into protective custody. In July, after spending a few weeks in Georgetown, Hanson brought his newspaper back to a building in Baltimore and continued to write editorials denouncing the war. Once again, a mob lay siege to the building but this time Hanson and his employees fought back with gunfire, reportedly killing two of the mob. A military force intervened and again escorted Hanson and his supporters to jail for their protection. The following night the mob broke into the jail and nine Federalists, including Hanson, were hauled out into the street and given a severe three-hour beating, including being stabbed with penknives and having hot candle wax dropped into their eyes. Eventually the authorities intervened. One of the paper’s employees, a Revolutionary War veteran named James Lingan, had been killed while Hanson was to die only seven years later never having fully recovered. No one ended up being brought to justice for the attacks."
- The second example was the fate of loyalists during the American War of Independence. These were the approximately 20 percent of the then-2 million population that remained loyal to the British crown and opposed separation of the colonies from Great Britain. Some were tarred and feathered, some had their property confiscated and tens of thousands fled to Canada, Florida and elsewhere to escape the brutality.
Not to mention the Civil War, the fight against Jim Crow laws, Quakers and pacifists who were oppressed and sometimes jailed for opposing America's involvement in World War I.
Through it all, our democracy/republic survived and it will again, despite the hysteria gripping both sides. Because among the 325 million Americans today, enough people are sane enough to reject the angry, spiteful, nonsense coming from both sides.
At least, I hope so.