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Friday, October 16, 2009

Scare Tactics: Nothing New to American Politics

If you are like me, you probably feel like every single election, particularly presidential elections, both the Democrats and the Republicans act as though the literal fate of the planet hangs on the outcome of that year's particular election. We've heard this rhetoric so many times that it isn't a surprise why some actually feel that the world could end if their candidate is not elected on November 4th. Conservative media outlets have been screaming from the housetops that the Obama presidency is ushering in the demise of responsible government and free market capitalism, while the Democrats have, in the past countered with their spin that George W. Bush is/was the worst president in the history of America and that it was HE who destroyed responsible government.

But is this type of "scare tactic" rhetoric new? Of course not. People like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the other "shock jock" talk radio personalities may have taken it to new heights, but it doesn't begin with them. Just check out the "scare tactic" rhetoric of this 1800Presidential campaign ad, which was produced by John Adams' supporters:

THE GRAND QUESTION STATED

At the present solemn and momentous epoch, the only question to be asked by every American, laying his hand on his heart, is: “Shall I continue in allegiance to

GOD—AND A RELIGIOUS
PRESIDENT;

Or impiously declare for

JEFFERSON—AND NO GOD!!
!

And here is a funny (but somewhat accurate) Youtube "campaign" video on the election of 1800:



Yes, even our Founding Fathers believed that an impending doom was sure to destroy the nation if their chosen candidate failed to win the election.

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