Tuesday night kicked off the fifth and final Republican debate of 2015 and it looked very similar to the past four debates: fear mongering, misinformation, Barack Obama is bad, and Hillary Clinton is even worse!! In unsurprising fashion, the whole debate consisted of the candidates discussing ISIS, American safety, more ISIS, metadata collection, bombing ISIS, immigration, did I mention ISIS??
Through over two hours of Republicans mostly bickering at one another, not one candidate attempted to discuss the economy, income inequality, campaign finance, education, healthcare, racial injustice, or climate change. To the Republicans, it doesn’t matter that domestic crimes in America are substantially more dangerous to citizens than are Islamic extremists. ISIS should be our greatest concern and has to be eradicated! Not to be left out of the theatrics, the moderator for the event, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, also participated in the scare tactics. Following the same talking point regurgitated by the Republican candidates, Blitzer labeled the San Bernardino incident as the “worst terrorist attack since 9/11.” Blitzer also stated, “Americans are clearly more afraid today than at any time since 9/11.” Really? Was that scientific information Blitzer was sharing? It would be irresponsible for me to speak for the majority of American citizens, but I have a difficult time believing that most Americans, as a result of what happened in San Bernardino, feel significantly more petrified. Between 2001-2013, there were 3,380 American deaths caused by terrorism worldwide. In contrast, between the same years of 2001-2013 there were 406,496 American deaths caused by gun violence. As of this writing, there has been over 350 mass shootings in America in 2015. Last month, The Guardian reported that almost 200 unarmed people had been killed by the police in 2015. Earlier today, James Comey, the FBI director, indicated that there was no evidence that the suspected San Bernardino terrorists had any connection to any terrorist organization. These facts, alone, cannot dispel the notion that Americans feel more afraid today than at any other time since 9/11. The Republican candidates spent a whole debate trying to convince the nation that their perception is the reality; that ISIS is considerably more dangerous than anything else Americans are facing. So, if it is true that Americans feel much more fearful today, look no further on who to thank for this atrocity of wisdom than the current field of Republican presidential candidates.