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Similiarities Between the War on Crime and the War on Terror

In his blog, here, Professor Jonathan Simon, discusses the similarities between the War on Crime and the War on Terror and mentions his book: Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear (Oxford 2007). Professor Simons says some people tell him it was true in the 80's and 90's but not now. In response he says:

"That would be true if it wasn't so very clear that for most American political leaders the war on terror has largely been a direct extension of the political categories and rationalities produced by the war on crime whether evil doing criminals, innocent victims, uncompromisable executive leadership, and emotional law making."

I agree with some of his ideas. I think the "war on terror" has been used as a political tool by politicians to scare the public and say vote for me --- "I can protect you."

However, the discussion about what the political candidates are saying to their base is not something most people take literally. Obviously, both Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are contradicting previous positions to attempt to appeal to the conservatives in their base.

During the general election, the winner inevitably moderates their views to appeal to the majority of voters.

The main point, however, is that "crime" and the "war on terror" are both used as "tools" by the dominant politicians to attempt to win an election.

As the song by the Who goes, ("Won't Get Fooled Again, 1971):

"I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray

We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss"

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