Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fight Fear With Logic

In the words of a great Democrat “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” FDR uttered these words during his first inaugural address in 1933 while America in the midst of the Great Depression and the world was plunging into chaos and war. Imagine that! A president telling the people that our greatest threat is being too afraid to do anything. At a time when there was much to fear, we had a president telling us to face that fear and fight it back.

In my belief, a government should have the best interest of its people in mind (but, hey, that’s just me). And those interests span from health to education to, yes, security. I think that security coverts the daily and internal threats, but sometimes, security includes protecting the people from external threats; the key word being
sometimes. Yet, external threats are all this administration can talk about. They would have us believe that there is nothing else to focus on except one threat, and that none of the domestic issues that we actually care about are tied to the external threat.

Unfortunately for us all, the current administration lacks the courage to lead the people. Instead they rely on the politics of fear and keeping the people afraid. For example, the “terror threat rainbow” (I have no idea what it’s really called, so that’s what I call it) is one tool that Bush and Co use to keep the people afraid. If the government were honest with us, it would be blue because, let’s face it, it’s way more dangerous to drive a car, eat a cheeseburger, use a hairdryer, etc. However, as we’ve come to expect, this administration is always less than honest and they’ll do whatever possible to retain their power over the people.

Cheney did it in 2006 and now McCain is doing it. What is it? Telling the people that he “believes” that the terrorists are watching our election cycle and will try sway the results through attacks. On the face, this seems like the Republicans (already) making excuses for losing the election. But, more importantly, it is the use of fear to manipulate the people. The Republicans continue to ignore the bests interests of the people, focus on wedge issues, and try to tell us that everything is going to be ok…as long as we vote for them. Their entire platform revolves around keeping the people scared.

We are at a point now where we need to face this fear mongering head on. This is what we need to say to the cowards who try to keep us afraid: 

"We weren't afraid when we voted for you the first time. A few years later, you told us that we were almost done being afraid, and now your successor wants us to be afraid for the next 100 years. Well, we're sick of being afraid, so we're going to vote for the person who tells us the truth: Life is dangerous, but your chances of getting killed by a terrorist are smaller than your chances of winning the lottery; that, in order to have a friend, you need to be a friend. And that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. We're moving on. And, oh by the way, we’re also not voting for you because your party is run by hypocrites and perverts, and has managed to flush the economy, world opinion, our health care system, education and the environment down the toilet. But, we’re not afraid any more either."

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