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Vote for Bush, or Die!

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  • Vote for Bush, or Die!

    APPEALING TO OUR LIZARD BRAINS: WHY BUSH IS STILL STANDING

    By Arianna Huffington

    Since the president's meltdown in the first debate — followed in quick succession by Paul Bremer's confession, the CIA's no-al-Qaida/Saddam link report, the Duelfer no-WMD-since-'91 report, and the woeful September job numbers — I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why George W. Bush is still standing.

    The answer arrived via my friend Ed Solomon, the brilliant writer and filmmaker, who explained that the conundrum could be solved by looking at the very organ I'd been racking.

    Ed introduced me to the work of Dr. Daniel Siegel, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author of the forthcoming book "Mindsight," which explores the physiological workings of the brain.

    Turns out, when it comes to Campaign 2004, it's the neuroscience, stupid!

    Or, as Dr. Siegel told me: "Voters are shrouded in a 'fog of fear' that is impacting the way our brains respond to the two candidates."

    Thanks to the Bush campaign's unremitting fear-mongering, millions of voters are reacting not with their linear and logical left brain but with their lizard brain and their more emotional right brain.

    What's more, people in a fog of fear are more likely to respond to someone whose primary means of communication is in the nonverbal realm, neither logical nor language-based. (Sound like any presidential candidate you know?)

    And that's why Bush is still standing. It's not about left wing vs. right wing; it's about left brain vs. right brain.

    Deep in the brain lies the amygdala, an almond-sized region that generates fear. When this fear state is activated, the amygdala springs into action. Before you are even consciously aware that you are afraid, your lizard brain responds by clicking into survival mode. No time to assess the situation, no time to look at the facts, just: fight, flight or freeze.

    And, boy, have the Bushies been giving our collective amygdala a workout. Especially Dick Cheney, who has proven himself an unmatched master of the dark art of fear-mongering. For an object lesson in how to get those lizard brains leaping, look no further than the vice-presidential debate.

    "The biggest threat we face today," said Cheney in his very first answer "is the possibility of terrorists smuggling a nuclear weapon or a biological agent into one of our own cities and threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans."

    Just in case we didn't get the point, he repeated the ominous assertion, practically word for word, two more times — throwing in the fact that he was "absolutely convinced" that the threat "is very real." It was "be afraid, be very afraid" to the third power.

    And when we are afraid, we are biologically programmed to pay less attention to left-brain signals — indeed, our logical mind actually shuts itself down. Fear paralyzes our reasoning and literally makes it impossible to think straight. Instead, we search for emotional, nonverbal cues from others that will make us feel safe and secure.

    When our right brain is at Threat Level Red, we don't want to hear about a four-point plan to win the peace, or a list of damning statistics, or even a compelling, well-reasoned argument that the policies of Bush and Cheney are actually making us less safe. We want to get the feeling that everything is going to be all right.

    In this state, our brains care more about tone of voice than what the voice is saying. This is why Bush can verbally stumble and sputter and make little or no sense and still leave voters feeling that he is the candidate best able to protect them. Our brains are primed to receive the kinds of communication he has to offer and discard the kinds John Kerry has to offer, even if Kerry makes more "logical sense." Which, of course, he does.

    The strutting, winking, pointing and near-shouting that marked Bush's town hall debate performance all sent the same subconscious message to our fear-fogged brains: "I'm your daddy . . . I've got your back. So just go to sleep and stop thinking. About anything."

    "At the deepest level," Dr. Siegel told me, "we react to fear as adults in much the same way we did as infants. It's primal. Human babies have the most dependent infancy of any species. Our survival depends on the caregiver. We instinctively look to authority figures to comfort us and keep us safe."

    As needy infants, this natural drive to be soothed and reassured is what we looked for in our parents; as anxious adults in these exceptionally unsettling times, it's what we are looking for in our leaders.

    Over the remaining three weeks of the campaign, as the anxiety level reaches a fevered pitch — and you can be certain the Bush campaign will do everything in its power to make sure that happens — the test facing voters is no longer, "Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?" It's "Which candidate would you rather give you your blankie and a bottle and keep the boogeyman away?"

    I know it sounds ludicrous that the most important election of our lifetime is coming down to who can best pacify the electorate's inner baby, but I can think of no better explanation as to why Bush is not currently hovering at around 5 percent in the polls — a voting block made up of those hardcore fanatics who are as utterly blind to reality as he is.

    As long as we're operating from our lizard brains — and reason takes a back seat to more primal needs — George Bush will continue to survive the logic-based attacks on his ever-escalating failures.

    The only question that remains is: Can Bush, Cheney and Rove keep us shrouded in the fog of fear long enough to brain John Kerry and win in November?

  • #2
    So... Bush supporters are frightened little wussies, is that what Huffington is saying? :D Joking.

    Perhaps that is why I appreciate the level-headed messages Kerry is sending... because I refuse to be terrified every damn day! I don't spend a single moment on any given day worrying that I will suffer a terrorist attack. I just don't. I can't let Bush and his fear-mongers affect me that way. Granted, I am concerned on occaision for my wife who rides a bus daily, but even then I refuse to allow fear to overtake me.
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

    Comment


    • #3
      Precisely the effect our own dear Tony Blair is seeking to achieve:

      http://www.preparingforemergencies.co.uk/

      Or the spoof site: http://www.preparingforemergencies.gov.uk/

      Unfortunately, I'm going to vote for him because I'm scared of Michael Howard.:twisted:


      Now - am I one sad little lizard or not?
      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mikey_C

        Now - am I one sad little lizard or not?
        *pets the cute little lizards* Lookit their noses and their cute little forked tongues! tee hee hee! :lol:
        You could always form your own political party. (The Arioch Party, maybe? You could ask Mr M for permission to use the Chaos star as your official party symbol. You never know. It might actually work.) Or else you could campaign to have Portsmouth made an independent state. See? Lots of alternatives.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's got possibilities, if we can raise the deposit in time. Mind you, I don't think we'd better make Portsmouth an independent state - the inhabitants would probably want to declare war on Southampton! :?
          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mikey_C
            Mind you, I don't think we'd better make Portsmouth an independent state - the inhabitants would probably want to declare war on Southampton! :?
            You could probably prevent that by claiming that London was the bigger threat to both cities, with its superior financial clout. Then you could unite under a common banner, and all declare war on London and no-one would care.

            Sorry: off-topic here. Did anyone else here know that Micheal Howard was jewish? I only found out today.

            Comment


            • #7
              Indeed he is; the son of a Romanian asylum seeker, no less:

              http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comme...076115,00.html

              You might think he'd care about people in the same terrible situation today.

              No chance :(

              PS Portsmouth and Southampton would never unite. They call each other "scummers". It's like Law and Chaos, only worse! (a football thing - count me out...) :?
              \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                Perhaps that is why I appreciate the level-headed messages Kerry is sending... because I refuse to be terrified every damn day! I don't spend a single moment on any given day worrying that I will suffer a terrorist attack. I just don't. I can't let Bush and his fear-mongers affect me that way.
                Agreed. I think Kerry was dead-on when he talked about reducing terrorism to a nuisance. He took some heat for it, but the sentiment directly challenged all of the "be afraid at all times" rhetoric that is shaping up to be the only campaign message Bush will send until election day. I don't live my life afraid. It seems to me that if everyone is afraid, the terrorists have already won.

                As a side note, I laughed when Bush's campaign accused Kerry of using worries over tight flu vaccine supplies as a scare tactic. Hasn't that been most of Bush's campaign strategy?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Politics is absurd!
                  \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                  Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think there's a TV programme on tonight (in the UK) about how politicians are foisting "nightmares" upon the public to keep them afraid and pliant... personally, even after 9/11, I wasn't especially afraid. I happened to be travelling on American Airlines around that time, but still it didn't really reduce me to a quivering paranoid wreck. Generally I'm scared of everything, but Terrorists aren't top of my list. There are people being shot at random on the streets by thugs, without any fundamentalist convictions, so I just can't join the whole "climate of fear" parade. Obviously it's a terrible thing to be beheaded in Iraq, but is it really any worse than being mown down by a drunk driver on a Dorset street?

                    I was crying, for real, when I watched the news about the twin towers, but I really don't feel any more vulnerable now than I did before the attack. I keep hearing people talk on the news about how different everything is post-9/11, but I don't feel any different personally... then again, I grew up with reports of IRA bomb threats, so perhaps that is to be expected? If you want to be afraid, there are always more than enough reasons floating around, believe me.
                    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great point about the IRA, Dee. That's part of my reason for hating the rhetoric about terrorism. Terrorism isn't-- and never has been--limited to the middle east. I think the US simply got a wake-up call on 9/11. With all due respect for the victims, what happened that day was just an introduction to what the rest of the world has endured as a way of life. I think far too many people in the US, prior to 9/11, mistakenly assumed that terrorism only happened in those "uncivilized" places, so it could be ignored. Only now are we obsessed. Sadly, though, the "global war on terror" seems to be meaningful only when it touches US interests.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        TheAdlerian:

                        Just because others are duped, don't you be duped also. Just because others are manipulated into silly beliefs to motivate them to action doesn't mean that those kinds of religious reasons are the true reasons behind what is done. And FWIW, there is a very strong element of religion in the whole Irish mess also. But I think as you well observe, that's sort of a subset of the broader issues at stake.

                        Cui bono? Who benefits? What is the use of it?

                        Follow the money. Follow the power.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is any of this inaccurate?

                          ---------------------------------------

                          SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES:

                          DEMOCRATS

                          * Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
                          * David Bonior: Staff Sergeant, Air Force, 1968-72.
                          * Tom Daschle: First Lieutenant, Air Force Strategic Air Command, 1969-72.
                          * Al Gore: Enlisted August 1969, sent to Vietnam January 1971 as an Army journalist in the 20th Engineer Brigade.
                          * Bob Kerrey: Lieutenant j.g., Navy, 1966-69; Medal of Honor in Vietnam.
                          * Daniel Inouye: Army, 1943-47; Medal of Honor in Second World War.
                          * John Kerry: Lieutenant, Navy, 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts in Vietnam.
                          * Charles Rangel: Staff Sergeant, Army, 1948-52; Bronze Star in Korea.
                          * Max Cleland: Captain, Army, 1965-68; Silver Star and Bronze Star in Vietnam.
                          * Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
                          * Tom Harkin: Lieutenant, Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
                          * Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve, 1979-91.
                          * Fritz Hollings: Army officer in Second World War, Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
                          * Leonard Boswell: Lieutenant Colonel, Army, 1956-76; Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal in Vietnam.
                          * Pete Peterson: Captain, Air Force, Prisioner of War; Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Legion of Merit.
                          * Mike Thompson: Staff Sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
                          * Bill McBride Candidate for Florida Governor): Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
                          * Gray Davis: Captain, Army, Bronze Star in Vietnam.
                          * Pete Stark: Air Force, 1955-57.
                          * Chuck Robb: Served in Vietnam.
                          * Howell Heflin: Recipient of Silver Star.
                          * George McGovern: Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross during Second World War.
                          * Bill Clinton: Did not serve due to student deferments. Entered draft lottery but received #311.
                          * Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
                          * Walter Mondale: Army, 1951-1953
                          * John Glenn: Second World War and Korea; six Distinguished Flying Crosses and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
                          * Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian Jewish underground in Second World War. (Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.)


                          REPUBLICANS

                          * Dick Cheney: Did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage. When questioned recently about his not having served in Vietnam, he said he had "other priorities."
                          * Dennis Hastert: Did not serve.
                          * Tom Delay: Did not serve.
                          * Roy Blunt: Did not serve.
                          * Bill Frist: Did not serve.
                          * Mitch McConnell: Did not serve.
                          * Rick Santorum: Did not serve.
                          * Trent Lott: Did not serve.
                          * John Ashcroft: Did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business courses.
                          * Jeb Bush: Did not serve.
                          * Karl Rove: Did not serve.
                          * Saxby Chambliss: Did not serve due to "bad knee." This is the man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
                          * Paul Wolfowitz: Did not serve.
                          * Vin Weber: Did not serve.
                          * Richard Perle: Did not serve.
                          * Douglas Feith: Did not serve.
                          * Eliot Abrams: Did not serve.
                          * Richard Shelby: Did not serve.
                          * Jon Kyl: Did not serve.
                          * Tim Hutchison: Did not serve.
                          * Christopher Cox: Did not serve.
                          * Newt Gingrich: Did not serve.
                          * Don Rumsfeld: Served in Navy, 1954-57, as a flight instructor.
                          * George W. Bush: Failed to complete his six-year National Guard obligation; got reassigned from Texa National Guard to Alabama National Guard so that he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate; failed to show up for required medical exam; disappeared from duty.
                          * Ronald Reagan: Due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
                          * "B-1" Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted -- after fighting was over in Korea.
                          * Phil Gramm: Did not serve.
                          * John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross.
                          * Dana Rohrabacher: Did not serve.
                          * John M. McHugh: Did not serve.
                          * J. C. Watts: Did not serve.
                          * Jack Kemp: Did not serve due to a "knee problem," though continued in NFL for eight years.
                          * Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
                          * Rudy Giuliani: Did not serve.
                          * George Pataki: Did not serve.
                          * Spencer Abraham: Did not serve.
                          * John Engler: Did not serve.
                          * Lindsey Graham: Lawyer in National Guard.
                          * Arnold Schwarzenegger: Absent Without Leave from Austrian army base.

                          PUNDITS AND PREACHERS

                          * Sean Hannity: Did not serve.
                          * Rush Limbaugh: Did not serve (4-F with a "pilonidal cyst.")
                          * Bill O'Reilly: Did not serve.
                          * Michael Savage: Did not serve.
                          * George Will: Did not serve.
                          * Chris Matthews: Did not serve.
                          * Paul Gigot: Did not serve.
                          * Bill Bennett: Did not serve.
                          * Pat Buchanan: Did not serve.
                          * John Wayne: Did not serve.
                          * Bill Kristol: Did not serve.
                          * Kenneth Starr: Did not serve.
                          * Antonin Scalia: Did not serve.
                          * Clarence Thomas: Did not serve.
                          * Ralph Reed: Did not serve.
                          * Michael Medved: Did not serve.
                          * Charlie Daniels: Did not serve.
                          * Ted Nugent: Did not serve.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Be afraid, Toto! Be very afraid!!!

                            http://www.worth1000.com/view.asp?en...play=photoshop

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doc
                              Great point about the IRA, Dee. That's part of my reason for hating the rhetoric about terrorism.
                              Too right, Doc.

                              People used to come to Britain from the States and not understand why there were no litter bins at stations and thought it was "quaint" that so much attention was paid to mislaid luggage.

                              Mustn't forget the fact that the US gov has aided and abetted terrorism across the world when it suited it (the difference between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" is often one of perception).

                              I understand the IRA was able to raise considerable funds in the States. Don't get me wrong - I support Irish independence, for the same reasons as I support Iraqi independence, but surely we're losing the plot if we think there's anything moral about indiscriminately killing civilians for any cause whatsoever.

                              Incidentally, for that reason I've had to part company with the Stop the War Coalition now its become the "Support the War (by any means necessary) Coalition" (http://www.labourfriendsofiraq.org.u...es/000008.html) with the ever-more-ludicrous George Galloway spouting off excuses for suicide bombings.
                              \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                              Comment

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