Intolerance and xenophobia as a (short-term) marketing strategy
Possibly the oldest human worldview is fear of strangers. And right next to that is anger as a byproduct of fear.
If a candidate wants to gain attention and possibly votes, then, it makes short-term sense to stir up fear of strangers and turn it into anger. It might even work (once). But it makes it virtually impossible to govern. It's a short-term strategy that eats itself, because sooner or later, everyone is a stranger, and fear is no foundation for work that matters.
It seems as though we're entering a season in which it's easy to ostracize or become righteously indignant over someone's national origin, skin color, religion or sexual orientation.
If this is the best a politician can do to organize and lead, then we all lose.
This can also be applied to radio talk show hosts, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who are trying to stir up trouble by objecting to an Islamic community Centre being built close to Ground Zero.
Guess what? The first Amendment backs up their right to build a centre there. These guys are trying to fan the flames of Islamophobia.
Islamophobia is the singling out of Muslims for hate and prejudice. Have these guys learned nothing from the fiasco that was World War II? What happens when a religious group is singled out for hate, prejudice and finally extermination? It leads to broader and broader hatred and extermination. Over 50 million lives were exterminated because of the hatred of Jews spread into hatred of Roma, then Polish, then the handicapped, Communists, then any political opponent. Then war broke out and people were exterminated all over the globe. 17 million Chinese, millions of Japanese, Germans, French, Portuguese, Americans, English, Spanish, Italians, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, North Africans, Russians, Czechs, Latvians, Lithuanians, Romanians, Greek and so on. Hate is like the bubonic plague. It tends to spread until everybody in its wake is killed.
Islamophobia has lead to the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis. Now we're moving on to kill Afghans. Muslims have a right to be pissed off at us. Why are we there meddling in their affairs? Who is this war benefiting besides Halliburton?
What ultimately will we have to show for it besides thousands of lives lost and trillions in debt?
If the Soviets could not defeat the Afghans, then what hope do we have? If the Persian Empire could not defeat them, then what hope do we have? This tactic of an Afghan pretending to work with us then turning around and betraying our soldiers and getting them shot to shit is something we'd better get used to. If ever a people are Xenophobic, with the perfect right to be, it's the Afghan people.
Our arrogance, our jingoistic sloganeering, will get thousands of more people killed. If the American people trample on the first Amendment to deny Muslims that community centre, then it will be one more outrage they will remember.
Let's stop this war merry go round. I don't like North America being in a constant state of war. It's such a terrible place to be in.
And this includes Mexico. It's our fault that Mexicans are killing each other in record numbers. Our immensely stupid war on drugs has brought nothing but more suffering, death and destruction.
And for what? To keep our privatized jails busy and full. So they can make money. Just like Halliburton.
The suffering of many to benefit the rich few.
We must stop this.