By Ryan Menezes
April 14, 2014, 10:00 a.m.
Barry Glassner first detailed how politicians use fear-mongering in his 1999 book “The Culture of Fear.” He wrote of politicians claiming America was on the decline, like those who coined the term “super-predators” to describe young American men with suppressed rage who would grow up to ruin the country if not reared early.
Fear-mongering has never declined, Glassner said Sunday at the Festival of Books, but it did change. When Glassner’s book was republished for its 10-year anniversary, its cover carried the phrase “Updated for our post-9/11 world.”
At a panel titled “Out of Focus: Politics, the Media and Perspective,” Glassner, now the president of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, pointed to the tonal shift after the terrorist attacks. No longer was America home to a sick society. Rather the discourse was now about how great the country was and how jealous others must be to attack it. The enemies changed from domestic to foreign.