Whenever someone starts to appeal to fear--whether it be your plumber, exterminator, pastor, or politician--hide your wallet, because a swindle is coming. It's no secret that fear is an incredible motivator. It can overcome our more rational brain and cause us to make irrational decisions which can quickly separate us from our money.
The appeal to fear is the foundation of the "War on Terrorism," which is nothing more than a way for politicians to make a mad grab for power at the expense of everyone's privacy and freedom. The statistical probability of actually being killed by a terrorist attack is miniscule compared with real dangers, such as heart disease, cancer, and smoking cigarettes. Yet compared to the risk, the money and cost of freedom and privacy spent to attack terrorism is totally out of proportion.
Politicians like to use fear to get us to vote for them. Instead of discussing issues, it is easier to rely on mudslinging. Better to make us fear the other candidate than to state our positions rationally. The sad thing is that this works.
It takes work to counter our more primitive, fearful natures. But in a world of atomic weapons, industrial grade weapons, and chemical warfare, we cannot afford to continue being tribalistic and seeing the world as divided into us, "the good guys" and them, "the bad guys." The world is more complex than that. The issues aren't always so black and white. Our very future depends upon looking past fear and embracing the virtues of openness and understanding.