Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bush Doesn't Believe in America

Bush Doesn't Believe in America
If he did, he'd know freedom doesn't make us weak.

He'd know that bin Laden can't destroy America, but Americans can.

Bin Laden can't touch our liberties.

He could only dream of doing the damage of the PATRIOT act, or any number of executive orders.

Tyranny thrives in darkness, not light.
Those who fear truth and light are the tyrants allies, fear and terror.

new research suggests that it is the politically informed partisan voter who is most susceptible to persuasion by fear and anxiety. Voters who are truly undecided, many political scientists argue, are not so much torn between the candidates as tuned out, and they do not feel strongly enough about issues to be swayed by threatening messages.

"If the campaigns want to shake out more support, win over these voters, fear is one way they can do to it," said Dr. Ted Brader, a University of Michigan political scientist who studies political advertisements, "but the dollars may be better spent on ads that rally support among their own base."

Although campaign consultants have long known that scare tactics can win votes, it is only recently that psychologists and political scientists have devised studies to find out whose votes they win, and why. Some researchers have sifted through nationwide polling data, before and after elections, looking for relationships between anxiety levels and changes in voting behavior.

Others have conducted experiments comparing the effects of commercials not only on people's opinions but on how they actually engage political issues and assess candidates. The study of emotion, said Dr. Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan, "has become all the rage in political science."

In studies, Dr. Brader and other researchers have found that advertisements using fear worked best among the "sophisticated" voters, who surveys showed tended to be partisan and well informed.

"The conventional wisdom is that politicians use these kinds of ads to prey on the uninformed masses," Dr. Brader said. "I found that that could not be less true."

The former top American administrator in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer III, has told private audiences that the United States did not send enough troops to Iraq to establish security after driving Saddam Hussein from power.

In a speech on Monday to an insurance conference in White Sulphur Springs, West Va., Mr. Bremer said: "We never had enough troops on the ground" to stop the widespread looting immediately after the fall of Baghdad and the lawlessness and insurrection that followed. The group released portions of his remarks after the speech.

In a Sept. 16 appearance at DePauw University, Mr. Bremer said that "the single most important change — the one thing that would have improved the situation — would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout" the occupation. He said that he raised his concerns a number of times within the administration, but that he should have been even more insistent.

His remarks were posted on the DePauw Web site, but received little attention until today when they appeared in The Washington Post, along with remarks from his West Virginia speech. Mr. Bremer could not be reached for comment this afternoon.

con·cept: Bush Doesn't Believe in America