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Are Politicians Using Scare Tactics Against Americans With Ebola?

Are Politicians Using Scare Tactics Against Americans With Ebola? 

Fear mongering (or scaremongering or scare tactics) is the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. The feared object or subject is sometimes exaggerated, and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of this tactic, sometimes in the form of a vicious circle.

Photo: Trollme.com

Photo: Trollme.com

While Ebola looms as a serious public health threat to the country, it’s also becoming an increasingly effective political weapon in the run-up to November’s midterm elections.
Republicans and Democrats alike are using the potential threat of a deadly epidemic to score political points, each party blaming the other for not doing enough to block the spread of the disease.
Ebola “is incredibly contagious,” GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible presidential candidate in 2016, said Thursday in a speech at a New Hampshire university. “People are getting it, fully gowned, masked. … And then you lose more confidence because (the government is) telling you stuff that may not be exactly valid, and they’re downplaying it so much that it doesn’t appear that they’re really being honest about it.”
Some Democrats, meanwhile, think they can leverage the crisis to boost support for a core party principle. On a Sunday talk show this month, Van Jones, a former aide to President Obama and San Francisco activist, suggested that the party use the Ebola situation as a talking point to show the necessity of a strong central government.

“This Ebola thing is the best argument you can make for the kind of government we believe in,” Jones said on ABC’s

Ebola: Flickr

Ebola: Flickr

 

 

“This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

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Casting Ebola as a partisan issue — and arguing that the other side is unwilling or unable to protect Americans — comes with a cost, said Barbara O’Connor, professor emeritus of political communication at Cal State University Sacramento.
“These are arguments that really scare people,” she said. “And when people are scared, they used to depend on their government, but not now.”

 

Are Politicians Using Scare Tactics Against Americans With Ebola?

About Jordanna

From San Diego, California. "Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshiped and fondled like a priceless diamond." -Hunter S. Thompson

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