This week, the new year kicked off with Donald Trump releasing his first TV ad, cramming in all the xenophobia, "pants on fire" mendacity and ugliness that have marked his campaign so far: calls for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S., a wall to keep out Mexicans and a vow to "CUT THE HEAD OFF OF ISIS." While no one would accuse Trump of being a student of history, he's drawing on a deep American tradition of campaign fear mongering. It's the same playbook that gave us "welfare queens," Willie Horton, and, more recently, a decade-long disaster in Iraq. This isn't to say cynically pandering to people's lizard-brain fear center isn't effective -- it got Bush reelected in 2004 -- but it comes with a high cost. When we operate from fear, we push our reason into the background. And if we're going to make progress in this new year in solving our biggest problems, it's going to be by using our wisdom, not our fear.
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