It is April 1st…

So I guess you have to take everything you read with a grain of salt. And maybe the Chicago Tribune’s libertarian columnist Stephen Chapman believes what he wrote today. I’d have more respect for him if I thought he meant it as an April Fool’s joke. The column is called “The right’s fraudulent fears.” It is all about how those on the right keep stirring up fears by talking about how radical Obama’s second term would be. My favorite example is when he quotes Rick Santorum saying that we have to defeat Obama “so that future generations do not say about America , ‘When men were free.'” I mean, yes, Chapman is correct that of course Obama won’t be that radical; he isn’t going to change overnight. He’s about as centrist or even center right as you can get. What troubles me is that Chapman seems to really believe that those on the right, Santorum, the NRA, etc., believe what they themselves are saying about Obama. And I just can’t believe Chapman is that naive. Of course they don’t believe what they’re saying (well, possibly Santorum does; he seems like a real true believer. But Romney, Gingrich, the NRA, Rush, none of them believe what they’re selling). They are simply willing to say anything, to say whatever they think will stir up the most fear about an Obama second term. They have no real facts or evidence to draw on, so their message is a purely emotional one. And they know, of course, that those on the right are far more moved by emotions than facts anyway. Maybe Chapman thought he was just being fair by, you know, taking them at their word. And I think that is naive and unfair to them and to Chapman. He has paid attention to this whole thing plenty long enough to know the right is just playing politics, and is not making any honest attempt for a reasoned, reality-based discussion of who would make a better president for the next four years. By pretending to take them at their word rather than calling them for fear mongering, he is to some extent playing into their hands.

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About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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