Culture of Fear
Myth: Most Americans think violent crime in the US is at an all-time high.
Fact: Violent crime has actually fallen to historic lows.
It’s understandable to be both concerned about crime and grateful for those who protect and serve in our criminal justice system, imperfect though it may be. But many have come to believe that violent crime in the U.S. is at an all-time high due largely to the “if it bleeds it leads” mentality of most commercial news media. The Black Lives Matter movement in particular is seen by many to be undermining the rule of law by encouraging racial animosity. This culture of fear ensures further violence and the inability to constructively discuss societal issues around race, violence, and our justice system.
In a move many are condemning for cruelly taking women’s rights back to the “Dark Ages,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed an Obama-era ruling that provided asylum to an El Salvadorian woman who said her husband had abused her physically, emotionally, and sexually.read more
The GOP responded to the 2008 financial meltdown by using identity politics and libertarian ideology to justify helping Wall Street avoid the consequences of its actions. But that philosophy has deep roots that began taking hold in the Republican party many years earlier.read more
Politics and religion seem to be the antithesis of science, even to the point where science is deemed as an enemy by some. However, politicians and religious leaders could learn some good lessons from science, including the ability to examine and correct beliefs.read more
Muslims make up about 1% of the US population, yet the average American believes that Muslims are 17% of the population. What causes this overestimation? One expert suggests that people overestimate things that they fear–it’s just how our brains work.read more
It’s a common tactic to fight lies by presenting facts and arguing on the basis of reason and rationality. But is it time to give up our pipe dreams that these tactics work and try another approach—appealing to emotions—instead? That’s what one author thinks.read more
President Trump has been quick to hail the historic talks between North and South Korea and claim credit for the talks themselves. But the talks between the North and South have the potential to harm his own upcoming negotiations with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.read more
Belief in a vast conspiracy to build a global totalitarian government with one economy, one language, one constitution, and one leader, is on the rise. Is this “new world order” a real thing, or are these beliefs based on misinformation and misinterpretation?read more
Are there really more mass school shootings than ever? You’d be forgiven for thinking so, given the moral panic surrounding the issue. However, we looked at the facts and found that not only are school shootings declining, they’re not a new phenomenon at all.read more
Since the 9/11 attacks, Americans have been in a perpetual state of fear induced by our government and its defense departments, intelligence agencies, and politicians. The USA Patriot Act was enacted in 2001 to combat this fear, but the trade-off is an abdication of our 4th Amendment rights and right to privacy.read more
Atrocity propaganda is a term used to describe the spreading of exaggerations and disinformation about crimes committed by an enemy. It’s bad enough in that context, but it’s especially troubling that the right and the left are both using this tool against each other. Can we ever be a nation united again?read more