The Fear Election

November 2nd, 2010

As Juan Williams' recent comments pointed out and today's election further attests, fear is the dominate impulse in our culture and in our politics. Fear of the other, be it on an elevator, or across the aisle of a plane, dominates our collective national consciousness. Even Jon Stewart realized this in his comments at his rally on Saturday. Journalist Shankar Vedantam, a reporter for the Washington Post and columnist for Slate.com, takes a look at this recent phenomenon and how he believes our Hidden Brain is evolutionarily hard wired to be afraid. How do we get behind this? My conversation with Shankar Vedantam: