Thursday, March 26, 2015
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said it best in his first inaugural address after his election as United States President in 1933 - "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.". He was attempting to calm a nation which had been ransacked by a near total collapse of an economy too insecurely strapped to markets which were very good at short term gain but lousy at long term prosperity. Sadly we have in many ways returned to those dangerous ways, but that's not my main point today.
I sometimes feel sorry for the folks who day in and day out only get their news from FOX "News". They certainly have a choice and broad assortment of other venues, but sadly all too often in these times folks like to get their updates on the daily proceedings digested and already filed into comfortable categories. Without sampling from an array of sources one can very quickly imagine the whole of the universe fits neatly into a narrative which conveniently meets the needs of some political power seeker or other. It's true of both sides, but to be fair and balanced, it's really really true of FOX folks.
That said, I do sometimes feel a touch of pity because they must live lives absolutely filled with terror. For years now they've imagined their government (which they have a shaky and limited understanding of sadly) has been taken away and now serves the purposes of those disrespectful dusky folks who steadily fill in the spaces all around them in stores and parks and even at work. They imagine women have escaped the proper confines of Biblical heterodoxy and now gambol day and night with little regard to the men they trample on or the children they abort weekly. They think that the United States military is weak despite its budget which dwarfs any other single nation on the planet, and that reducing that budget a fraction puts the whole nation at risk of invasion from Cuba perhaps, or maybe even North Korea or some other tiny country with a population which is a fraction of that in the U.S.
But mostly they live in terror of terror, or as they clamber to call it "Muslin Extremism". Despite statistics which prove that most of the terrorism in the world is not committed by Muslims or that the chances that any single person will ever fall victim to it are miniscule, folks nonetheless are scared witless that some bearded malcontent is just around the corner waiting to drive a knife into their heart while they shop at the local mall.
As the mongers begin the terrible drumbeats to begin the next great war we have to be especially careful to make decisions not based on fear, it is fear itself which is our greatest enemy.