Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fear, Negativity Drive Today's Republican Party

It's very clear that a new reactionary ideology has taken root in the Republican Party. The Republican Party is pushing for economic and social policies based on fear. Fears of massive transformation, turmoil and chaos underway in our society. And, fears about how those transformations will impact lives largely defined by self-interest, power and money. Some fear-generated policies are consciously created; others, not so. That is, some reflect a yearning for restoration of a way of life that no longer works in today's changing society and globalized world. Other policy positions reflect conscious manipulation of those fears; But all driving the positions the Republican Party with assistance from the unrelenting Tea Party demands and is determined to enact.

The way I look at it, their ideology and policies reactionary because they are a retreat away from creating positive, responses to large-scale upheaval and change; and towards objectives that fail to address the sources of problems they aim to fix. (Just sit and watch the wave of negative, doom and gloom, lookout the sky is falling political ads that will fill your airwaves this election season against Democratic Candidates for Federal, State & Local Office). Worse, their view of the impact their policies would have upon society doesn't correspond to factual reality.  Government for example is viewed as the embodiment of fear of being taken over by forces that are dangerous, and therefore must be opposed or defended against. Driving this ideology is the fear of losing control over one's life when confronting the reality of the interdependence and interconnection characterizes today's world. For some, those fears lead to the belief that you can live without help from anyone or anything.

When people are emotionally overwhelmed with feelings that their world, their values and identity are turned upside down or destroyed, they may embrace beliefs that are extreme, rigid or elect candidates who represent those beliefs. Such people become increasingly vulnerable to dysfunction because the everything around them continues to change and evolve in ways that frightened them into embracing false beliefs to begin with. They want to feel safe and protected against a changing world, but their solutions don't work.

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