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Fear, Fascism, and Democracy

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Commentary
Governments use the fear of imminent danger to expand their own power and to impose their own policies on skeptical populations. This kind of apocalyptic alarmism keeps some people in a permanent state of anxiety that threatens their health and mental health.
As Michael Brendan Dougherty of National Review said of President Joe Biden’s latest extension of America’s COVID emergency with its extraordinary executive powers, “Every emergency warps government and erodes our resistance to sweeping powers.”
A strange aspect of the current midterm election season is that the incumbent party’s campaign themes—the alleged threat to democracy and abortion “rights”—are urgent and alarmist but have little to do with voters’ main concerns: the economy and inflation. Most voters, a new poll showed, do see a threat to democracy but see it as coming from the media or the Democrats, not MAGA Republicans….