This is an off-year election and there's a good chance Republicans will take control of the Senate and have a majority. Off-year elections usually favor challengers and Obama is unpopular enough to not have coattails, in other words the "umph" to get fellow demos elected.
What is the predicted pitch Neo-Cons will make this November to gain votes?
First of all, religious hate. All Muslims are allegedly evil. It's already been said in so many words on this website. To use a variant on the Custer at Little Bighorn theme, to some conservatives, the only good Muslim is an extinct one. Despite the fact that Muslims from Middle Eastern countries are participating in air strikes on insurgents.
In fact, it's been alluded to on this website there is perhaps no such thing as a moderate (non-USA-hating) Muslim. Islam of course is one of the world's three major religions and has millions of adherents in dozens of countries, some of whom with which we have very friendly relations, like India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and others.
The notion that all these people have the same violent anti-US creed is a physical impossibility.
Fear and paranoia, two maladies that seem particularly potent to members of the extreme right wing, is what illegally locked up Japanese Americans during World War II for no other reason than the color of their skins and ancestry.
What amazes me about Americans is that we fight more wars against more countries (we're always in the right) than any other country, and some of us get so freaked out about the possibility of being attacked. We bomb other countries daily, but if some wacko does it to us, we act all panicked like we didn't expect it.
Let me define war. You do things to the other guy, and the other guy tries to do things to you.
Don't get me wrong. An attack by a nut like the lunatic who bombed the Boston Marathon is entirely possible.
But when it comes to dealing with fanatics, I believe the truth of what Anne Frank once said, "Despite everything that has happened, most people are good (not evil)." Therefore, while we know we have challenges, there's no reason to panic or act like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
Conservatives make many unsubstantiated claims, like "Terrorists are waiting to cross the Mexican Border in 500 used Chevys." Or, "The entire town of Cucamonga has gone over to the enemy." It begins to sound like the old movie, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Again, I'm not saying we don't face challenges, but we need to keep a grip on reality.
If you think the world is worse than it's ever been, how would you like to be around when the Black Plague wiped out a third of Europe?
Even the French are helping us in the Middle East and the only thing they ever liked about America is Jerry Lewis.
Conservatives, many of whom condemn Islam as a world-wide conspiracy, will without actually saying it, but hinting at it, call for a new crusade, a holy war. They will try to make the point, also without coming out and saying it, that Jesus was a Republican. After all, according to conservatives, didn't Jesus say, "Do unto others before they can do it to you?"
Jesus obviously was not only a believer in a strong anti-isolationist foreign policy, but he also healed the sick on his own. He didn't ask for or need big government help from the Roman-backed Pharisees in Jerusalem in 19 A.D. Jesus thus opposed socialized Obamacare.
I think the important thing is to respond to challenges without exaggerating them. But conservatives will exaggerate them shamelessly to get elected and to a certain point they will succeed. Using hate and fear to gain election is a given. It works. You're not going to say things are not as bad as they could be if you want to get elected. You're going to say the world is coming to an end unless you vote for me.
An extreme conservative and believe you me I've had personal experience with them, does not really believe in a two-party-or-more system, or the right of dissent in a so-called free society, or the right of free speech, one of the pillars of our Constitution. If you have an opinion different from theirs, rather than simply disagree, they will call you a "disloyal traitor," again usually by hinting at it and not saying it outright, and call for some kind of retribution, punishment, usually impeachment, deportation or calls for firing or resignation.
This is a curious form of democracy, which sometimes depends a little bit on compromise to survive.
Gone are the days when Republicans including John Wayne used to brag, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
In fact, this religion-driven, hysteria-promoted election in November will instead use a variant of another old saying from the 1960's, "America, love it (my Christian way) or leave it."
Symptomatic of this mania is Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson thinks he's God's quarterback, and if God was a football team, he (if God is a he) would perhaps be The San Francisco 49ers. Robertson can read the mind of God. He will tell you what God is thinking and he can point in the Bible to where it says we should "smite" heathens and Godless liberals.
Listening to Robertson explain with a straight face why violence worded in the Bible is different from that in the Quran, all I can say now is, "God help us!"
That's no exaggeration.