No Incentive to End Terrorism

June 23, 2008 at 8:23 pm

I have pointed this out before, but recently an aide for John McCain said it for me: a terror incident on U.S. soil “certainly would be a big advantage to him [McCain].”

Charlie Black said this in an interview with Fortune. He since regrets saying this, but it rings true.

If terrorists attacked, people would be more likely to vote Republican. This probably doesn’t strike you as surprising, but think about the implication of this for a second.

The implication is that there is no incentive for Republicans to actually fight terrorism.

Now before you accuse me of being a leftist and a communist and a hippie tree hugger and all the wonderful attacks usually brought to bear on anyone who says anything contrary to the Whitehouse line, hear me out.

I’m not saying that Republicans are not doing anything to fight terrorism. I’m merely saying that there is no incentive for them to do a good job.

Why? Because the global war on terror is one of the few issues that wins Republicans elections.

More terror = good for Republicans. More war = good for Republicans.

What I am arguing is that with terrorism being such a big benefit to Republicans, why would they go out of their way to try and end it?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to try to find some more terrorists when things seem quiet? Maybe in Iran?

This is the irony of the “war” on terror. Republicans are rewarded if they perform poorly in the war.

Think about what happens when CEOs are rewarded for performing poorly. Does performance get better?

To truly fight terror, the government, any government, needs to be incented to do a good job and/or punished for doing a poor job.

Until they are punished, however, for doing a poor job, guess what the behavior is likely to be?