The politics of fear

A signal trait of the Bush presidency was the at times overwhelming chorus of people speaking out against Bush.

Obama? Not so much. Why?

Because the center-right fears Obama and the Democrats[*1] in ways that the socialist left simply didn’t fear Republicans and Bush:

at a neighborhood barbecue, a businessman who ran a manufacturing concern spent a good quarter of an hour railing against Obama’s plans to nationalize health care. He had informed himself about the pending legislation in minute detail. He had devoted hours to studying the effects on hospitals and HMOs. He had become utterly convinced that Obama’s plans would harm millions.

Well, then, one of his listeners asked, why had the businessman failed to say any of this in public?

The businessman paused, astonished.

“Isn’t it obvious?” he replied. “I have an obligation to my shareholders. Keep your head down. Don’t speak out. In this climate, that’s just being responsible.”

. . .

“These days,” the private equity partner replied, “the government owns the banks. Nobody’s going to speak out against his owners, right? That’s just basic business practice. At least that’s what the bankers are all saying to themselves.”

The last exchange took place a couple of days later at a business school. Lately, a professor explained, students and faculty had begun quietly approaching him. “Everything’s on the hush-hush,” said the professor, a senior member of the faculty. “But they’re looking for support. We’ve been thinking of starting a group like AA, only for people who believe in capitalism.”

The professor laughed.

What did those who had approached him fear?

“They’re afraid for their careers,” the professor said, now serious. “These are young people I’m talking about. They don’t want to become known as opponents of this administration.

The fear of the leftists, such as it was, was a diffuse, amorphous unease. Nobody really thought that Bush would raid their classrooms and community organization meetings and drag them to the gulags. That’s why unhinged people like Code Pink and numerous unwashed totalitarian undergraduate students could freely shout down conservative/libertarian/Republican speakers at countless events without any real repercussions. Because you see, the right actually does believe in free speech. The left doesn’t.

The fear of the right is tangible and well-founded. They know that the left will try to destroy them.

It has already begun. Carrie Prejean, anyone?

This is called “suppression of dissent.” Socialists/statists do it. And they’ve got all the levers of government now, in addition to the majority of media outlets and educational institutions. Prepare to toe the party line, or to be muzzled.