St. John Valley

Guns, fear and political manipulation

To the editor:

In the last 49 years there have been more deaths by gun than all deaths by war in American history – 1.5 million U.S. citizens killed by guns while 1.2 million have died in all American conflicts combined, according to an article in The Independent. Yet to hear the conservative wing of the American Republican party state it, guns are no problem whatsoever in American life. 

First off, the government is not coming for citizen’s guns (control and regulation legislation, yes). Second, the Second Amendment is not being taken away. Both are total fiction. Yet millions are ready to kill and go to war over it.

Fear is a human emotion that has been for the last 30 years, and still is, used by conservative Republicans, corporations and billionaires to manipulate American citizens into realizing their conservative ideological, economic and political beliefs and agendas. Fear is the most primal of human emotions. Indeed, it is the one emotion most needed for survival and most studied by psychologists. Billions have been spent in the last 30 years by these powers to manipulate this human fear.

Every human fears the other — the other being not like them — including other humans and dangerous animals. In early human history, fear was required to survive. In the 20th century, human social arrangements have changed drastically; fear, however, has not. The easiest way to manipulate humans is to bring up immigrants, Mexicans, blacks, criminals, etc., all “others” who supposedly want to harm them, and then repeat ad infinitum on social, commercial and political media. 

This is what conservatives, corporations and billionaires have spent billions on. They know how the psychology works: just scare the heck out of ordinary citizens, target a bogey man (Liberal), and then rinse and repeat. Once these citizens have been scared senseless and have been convinced that the only savior is the Republican Party, they then vote for Republican candidates who then create and change laws that favor the rich and corporate masters who own them.  This has been going on full force now for 30 years. 

In this same time frame it was easy for the NRA to piggyback on this media fear blitz. In fact, the two are interconnected: since there is a multitude of dangerous others, one has to arm oneself to the teeth to protect oneself. 

The end result of all this psychological deception is a good portion of the US population who can be easily manipulated, while these entities destroy their freedoms and economic stability and who themselves grow immensely wealthy, while these very citizens, duped, and their grandchildren, grow a lot poorer and stand to lose many of their democratic freedoms.

James P. Chasse
St Agatha, Me

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