Politics of Fear? From which Party?

This election year is perhaps more strange than any other (and we have had some STRANGE ones!)  It used to be we would joke about the personalities of the candidates, and they ran on their policy ideas.  This year, they are running on their personalities, and apparently running from their policies!  That said, I want to tackle a couple of the other “strange” things that are happening this time around.

The Democrats have, for a very long time, (read, 4 years) been running around claiming that the Bush Administration, and the Republicans, are running a “politics of fear” only able to be re-elected when the American people are “afraid.”  Well it sure looks to me like the Democrats are doing the same thing.  Oh, they aren’t trying to make us afraid of terrorists.  They are making us fear the economy.  Fear a loss of jobs.  Fear each other.  Take, for instance, this comment from Obama’s acceptance speech:

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond your reach.

I am sure you see it.  We should be afraid of what may happen to us if we don’t elect Obama.  In fact, the whole first third of his speech (and of every speech) was designed to instill fear into our hearts.

Hey–I am not saying it isn’t a great style.  It works.  It is a formula for speech-writing that has been shown through the ages to be successful.

It is also a speech designed to highlight one party, and their vision of the future, in comparison to another.  I believe we call that “being partisan.”  I don’t think anyone faults Obama and the Democrats for being partisan.  After all, it was a “Democrat Party Convention” after all.  But what is surprising was the criticism put foward by the Obama camp as read in the Mercury News:

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton called the speech “well-delivered, but written by George Bush’s speech writer and sounds exactly like the same divisive partisan attacks we’ve heard from George Bush for the last eight years.”

Hmm.  partisan attacks?  Let’s see… what could those be?

Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.

For over two decades, he’s subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy – give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

The speech goes on and on with these sorts of dichotomies. They (the Republicans) don’t care about, want to hurt you, only want to help their cronies.. but WE (the Democrats) care about you, and are willing to do what it takes to help you.

That, my Fellow Americans. Is partisan divisiveness. Don’t complain that Republicans do that, when you did it the week before.