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Posted: 9/13/2004 12:01:53 PM EST
Thought this was an interesting blog entry:

www.musil.blogspot.com/2004_09_05_musil_archive.html#109476216591524324

A Climate Of Fear

The belief that George Bush has exploited the September 11 disasters to create a "climate of fear" through use of the Patriot Act and otherwise has become a common ingredient in an intense left wing loathing of the President described by Alan Bromley in OpinionJournal today.

I view that belief as so egregious that it's holders will likely one day cringe over it more than those who once acquired avacado green appliances now cringe over those memories.

But there may be a genuine political climate of fear in some parts of the United States - including my corner of Los Angeles:

Many Republicans are afraid to put Bush-Cheney bumper stickers on their cars or signs on their lawns because they are afraid of physical retaliation from angry liberals.

It is not just that one sees few Bush-Cheney bumper stickers and lawn signs - even in areas in which one knows his support is high. I do not have such a bumper sticker or lawn sign. In fact, most Bush supporters I have asked, even those who are fairly passionate on the topic, just don't think the risk of a key-scratch or broken home or car window, or much worse, is worth whatever benefit one receives from a partisan bumper sticker or lawn sign. There are just too many personal stories of cars and homes defaced and damaged.

The sentiment is not symmetrical: One sees plenty of Kerry-Edwards bumber stickers and lawn signs - even in highly Republican neighborhoods. Indeed,one sees plenty of such stickers and signs that express left-wing sentiments much more intense and partisan than mere support of the Democratic presidential ticket. Not infrequently these stickers and signs mention some form of violence or even death with respect to Republican officials.

I recall that way back when avacado green was in fashion there was a certain current of jokes about scary right wing bumber stickers. But regardless of one's political orientation, one knew such expressions of anxiety were jokes. One knew that because one could see that people didn't act on the "fears" privately - one saw lots of Democratic stickers and signs.

Now it doesn't look like a joke. Not here, not now. Here and now there is a quiet, low grade, but very real concern among many Republicans about what an increasing proportion of liberals have become and the petty violence of which more and more of them are now capable and prone. I sense they have been led to this new state by the same factors that have created the new angry Howard Dean Democrats.

I call it "a climate of fear" because nobody should have to take into account a serious likelihood that those who do not agree with a bumber sticker's sentiment will damage a car or a home. But I am not really afraid of these new liberals. They are pathetic.

Posted 11:25 AM by Robert Musil
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