Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Avoiding Overkill

When you exclude the rabid right LaRouchians and religious right Palinites, what’s left is mobilized resentment. And there’s plenty reason to be resentful of both major political parties, even though the GOP clearly has the edge in recruiting fanatics. But long before hypermedia started promoting political hysteria, there were social entrepreneurs like Merchant of Fear Alan Gottlieb, who got his start in direct-mail fear-mongering as a member of Young Americans for Freedom forty years ago. Now days, hyperbole is the name of the game, and although there are some dangerous actors who need reining in by police, the vast majority of delinquent behavior can and should be constrained by community action. When that action is based on research and education, rather than on inflated government, media, or party propaganda, community safeguards can be maintained without resorting to overkill.

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