Friday, July 22, 2016


The GOP's convention of fear and paranoia finished up last night. I was on KGET's 17 News Sunrise program this morning with Republican Cathy Abernathy for some post-convention analysis, which you can access by clicking here.

After countering Cathy Abernathy's notion that Trump has a message that resonates with middle America - by pointing out that Donald Trump is the GOP's new Prince of Darkness - I made it clear that Trump's campaign is all about fear and paranoia. This, as we all know, is the wrong message for America.

After Cathy went back to the "let's all be afraid" theme because of the raging violence on the streets of America I had to chuckle (and I did). I told her that she and the Republicans are peddling a "paranoid perception of America" that just doesn't fit the numbers. Cathy replied, curtly, "I've looked at the numbers."

Did Cathy really look at the numbers? Is the paranoia and fear justified? I have an idea. Let's take a look ...




2. VIOLENT CRIME IN AMERICA, from The Brennan Center:

* Be sure to check this and this if you want to have a really informed discussion on violent crime in America.

3. THE ODDS OF DYING BY TERROR ATTACK are so low that it doesn't even make the top 20 causes of death in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council (click here for ginormous bubble graph). In fact, your odds of dying in a terror related attack in the U.S. are about about 20,000,000/1, and have been declining for well over 40 years. Yes, you read that right. Terror attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in the United States have actually declined since 1970:


What all of this means is you have a greater chance of being attacked by a shark or dying in a tornado (but watch out for Sharknado) than dying in a terror related attack.



There's more, but you get the point. The idea that we need to be afraid is a political tool used by those who are, quite frankly, intellectually weak and naturally afraid of things that go bump in the dark. The fact that the GOP is using the fear factor and sensational police killings to get people riled up about people of color is entirely political and, as I've pointed out elsewhere, does not speak to our better angels.

So the next time someone tells you to be afraid because of all the out of control crime, terrorism, and people of color, tell them the numbers aren't on their side and that you have better things to do with your time.

If they won't quit, and persist in embracing their inner paranoia, try changing the game. Numbers might not be their thing. For the really stubborn you would be within bounds to approach it like this ...

Just saying ...

- Mark

1 comment:

Cisco Ochoa said...

...and now we have david duke about to return to politics...sheesh!