Saturday, June 28, 2008

Managing Fear

Dear George,

There is an inverse relationship between public fear and the threat used to generate it. The further down the scale of probability a threat is, the greater its potential for generating fear in the public's mind. It is known among political operatives as the Inverse Probability Principle of Social Management.

This is why terrorism has worked wonders for your administration. The probability of being wacked by a terrorist is about the same as being struck by lightning. Yet, as improbable as the threat from a terrorist attack is, the public has been quite willing to piss away their civil liberties. (Should you choose to market the lightning threat as skillfully as you have marketed the terrorism threat, you would see everyone venturing outside with lightning rods strapped to their heads.)

The more probable a threat, the less fear it generates. When was the last time you saw someone don a crash helmet and flame-resistant jumpsuit before getting behind the wheel? They really should, because driving is the most life-threatening activity we engaged in.

The mantra that drives your administration is simplicity itself: If you scare the chickens enough, they’ll vote for the fox. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating as the campaign begins to heat up.

Fear gives the GOP a crucial edge in the contest since the Democrats have a long history of cowering before the wrath of the neocon right.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

No comments: