Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fear itself

A couple years ago I watched a video commentary by Penn Gillette. He characterized Republicans as being motivated by FEAR and Democrats motivated by HATE-mostly directed at then President Bush. If he had said frustration instead of hate, I would have agreed with him.

Ideology and religion reflect our best and worst emotions. They can enable our prejudices by portraying those who are different as sinners or communists or ignorant. When our ideological or religious beliefs are seriously challenged, a flash of anger or hatred is quite understandable.

When Penn made his comments, a lot of non-Republican conservatives and libertarians were angry about big government getting even bigger and more obtrusive. Some conservatives were even outraged by two wars and the corporate welfare accompanying them.

I understand the Right's fear and anger at President Obama's economic stimulis programs, however the emotions I see and hear coming out of the Teabagger movement seems to be motivated by more than fiscal conservativism.

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