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Donald Trump And The Power Of Fear

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Donald Trump And The Power Of Fear

Donald Trump and the power of fear

Reprinted with permission of Media Matters.

Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency was defined by fear, paranoia, and a distrust of the government and mainstream media. And it succeeded thanks, at least in part, to right-wing media outlets, which have spent the past few years competing for Republican voters’ attention by terrifying them with increasingly apocalyptic horror stories about the state of the country.

This brand of right-wing paranoia poses a real threat to American democracy — radicalizing voters and lawmakers alike. And if journalists can’t figure out how to effectively dispel that paranoia, Americans are going to keep seeing their government hijacked by hucksters who are more interested in profiting from a shtick than they are in actually improving lives.

Researcher Dina Radtke contributed research to this report.

IMAGE: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake



  1. AgLander November 19, 2016

    Liberals have always feared the U.S. Constitution because it stands directly in the way of their radical goals being achieved. Remember the infamous words of complaint from Barack Obama when he declared frustration over reaching his goals due to the Bill Of Rights…..ah, those pesky Bill of Rights!! The “power of fear” among liberals over Donald Trump as president is directly related to their understanding that he will uphold a Constitution they look upon with disdain and had every hope of continuing to dismantle under America’s most famous free roaming felon, Hillary Clinton..

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 19, 2016

      You and Trump fear it also. Except that neither you or Trump know what fear is, except fearful that you may miss your next meal or paycheck. Or fearful that you may have to take a bath or shower.

      1. charleo1 November 19, 2016

        A Trump Presidency is just about the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. But even scarier is the fact that millions of Americans are so unaware of the dangers. So invested are they, so convinced by RW propaganda they’ve been subjected to for years. To see how incredibly quickly everything we stand for as a Country, indeed the entire global structure of which we are such an integral part. Could be wiped away by the Trump cabal we can now see being created right before our eyes. So, yes. I’m not ashamed to say I deeply fear this coming administration. I fear for the Country. I fear that just expressing such thoughts may soon carry persecution.

      2. AgLander November 19, 2016

        Time and Temperature in Muscat……9:02PM, 76 degrees.

        1. Budjob November 19, 2016

          Ag,As an outsider,what do you think of the human race?

          1. dtgraham November 20, 2016

            LOL. One of the best comments ever!

          2. Budjob November 20, 2016

            ham,Thank You,We MUST continue the struggle! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    2. charleo1 November 19, 2016

      And what, “radical,” goals the Dems have, would violate the Constitution? Radical goals such as protecting voting rights? Trying to make sure millions of Americans not in the upper 1% have access to healthcare? Requiring the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes? When the upper 5% now own half the Country? Ohh! Now isn’t that scary? Equality I mean. That the Koch Brothers, and other Plutocrats might have the 100s of millions they now pour into the people’s elections be limited? So the government of the people, and by the people, actually work for the people? Even scarier!

      1. dtgraham November 19, 2016

        That is exactly what they mean when they talk about the constitution. Always been my take as well. I had a health care/insurance discussion with a Republican poster last Christmas here. His last reply to me was that he wanted me to think about that pesky constitution over Christmas, as though that would somehow prevent health insurance from being extended to more people. That was clearly the implication. He used the adjective pesky too, like what’s his name you were replying to. What did the Soviets and East Germans used to call those people? Politically insane.

        1. charleo1 November 21, 2016

          I think Stalin called them useful idiots.

    3. Budjob November 19, 2016

      do you have a picture of the triumvirate hanging in your hovel?

  2. Buford2k11 November 19, 2016

    ok…the current “journalists, press, writers, etc.” were all in this together…they helped with the false messaging….the main stream media is as bad as we can imagine…the fake news on the internet is as bad as we must imagine, in order to fight against it…elections are about messaging…propaganda is messaging on steroids…when greed, is good, and when lies are normal…….. I really don’t see a way out of this mess we are in…

  3. dbtheonly November 19, 2016

    Brilliant article!

    But totally lacking in any hint at solution.

    Whether the Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RWMO or vice versa isn’t really the issue. They’re all tied together, promoting the joint world view, and approving of all things RW.

    Now, for fun, lets watch the “Business” news and see how what was a disaster in waiting for President Obama becomes light and sunshine under Trump.

  4. catherine.davis November 19, 2016

    It’s been 1 yr since I decided to quit my office work and I never felt this good… I started freelancing at home, for this company I stumbled upon over internet, several hrs daily, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my office work… Last paycheck i got was for $9k… Superb thing about this work is the more free time i got for my loved ones… http://secure54.com

  5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 19, 2016

    Trump is in for a rude awakening—how severe is unknown for certain.

    But we have to conclude using reasoning, and based on examples from history of those who were proud and arrogant like Trump and the white supremacists, that a vengeance is exacted by the Creator against the likes of tyrants and oppressors. Today, tyrants and oppressors foment fear and garner support from racists; some strap bomb vests to themselves killing others; some meddle in the affairs of others by hacking for personal gain and seeking to destabilize societies; others invade the territory of other nations against the wished of the world’s communities(e.g., Russia). Whatever the flavor of the tyrant, they are marked for destruction. Is it not recorded in the Old Testament that “…pride goeth before destruction”? Did Napoleon, the Czar of Russia, Kaiser Bismark, Franz Josef, Sultan Abdu’l Aziz, Pope Pius IX, and the like experience humiliating defeats or had their kingdoms severely reduced in scope, and were reduced to footnotes in history books? There were other individuals who opposed the call to be fair-minded and who instead chose to be inimical to the well-being of members of their societies—they suffered tragedies, some dying horrible deaths, like Mirza Aqasi, a Persian Muslim cleric who opposed The Bab and caused the suffering of many.

    Trump, and many in the GOP, Steve Bannon, David Duke, and other politically and emotionally unstable entities have to be subjected to the same forces as those gone before them.

    A more current version of the Old Testament admonition, and spoken and written originally with more eloquence in the Arabic language by Baha’u’llah, is the following:

    “O OPPRESSORS ON EARTH! Withdraw your hands from tyranny, for I have pledged Myself not to forgive any man’s injustice. This is My covenant which I have irrevocably decreed in the preserved tablet and sealed with My seal.”


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