Kingdom of Fear: Only the Most Fearful Bother to Vote
The waning worry Americans have for the ubiquitous threat of terrorism could likely be attributed to – at least, in part – the way in which the threat of terror has been used politically. In the years immediately following the attacks on 9/11, Republicans especially used the attack as a cry to rally the people around their positions from war to local zoning disputes. Yet, many of these same Republicans balked at closing the corporate loophole that would ultimately pay for the Zadroga Bill, meant to give healthcare to the first responders.
Now over a dozen years removed from that terrible day, such blatant hypocrisy and partisan chicanery has soured Americans’ taste for the entire political process. Yet if most intelligent folks realize now how they are being played, why do so many politicians continue to play on our fears of terrorism, immigrants, and the like?
According to a new study reported in The Washington Post, the Center for the Study of the American Electorate says that this could be an election year with “record-low turnout.” Midterm election turnout is often lower than that of Presidential election years and overall voter turnout “has been dropping steadily for years.”
However, while overall voter turnout and turnout amongst Democrats has fallen as of late, GOP voter turnout has been on the rise since President Obama’s election. By keeping their constituents terrified of world threats and the threats at home – read: a Kenyan secret-Muslim anti-colonial socialist fascist whose likely not even an American citizen in the White House – their base is voting as if their lives depend on it.
Put another way, this study shows that despite the blatant disgust many have for the state of the U.S. Legislative branch, that doesn’t translate into motivation to vote. Now Fear, on the other hand, that will get people to the polls and sets a troubling precedent for who exactly is being represented in Washington D.C.
Photo by Daniel Lobo via Flickr