The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
One doesn’t need to look very hard to see that America is ruled by fear today. The media, industry and politicians have learned how to wield fear to gain money and profit. Americans have bought into the fear-based culture fully. Mass media and particularly the news media have learned that fear sells and drives profits. Industry plays upon peoples deepest fears to sell products whether the fear is cultural, physiological or subliminal it drives sales.
If you want to control someone, all you have to do is to make them feel afraid.
No one uses fear more than politicians. The political ads are almost completely fear-based because nothing drives the people to the polls like fear. Fear of immigrants, loss of jobs, terrorism, Ebola, and most of all the loss of the America of memory is a reason to fear. The result is fear-driven policy. Our government is rife with fear-based, counter-productive laws and governance. Government institutions are driven by fear. As just one example air travel is teeming with stupid fear-based practices.
The worse thing is that courage has no value. We have gone from the “Greatest Generation” to a bunch of sniveling cowards. Of course on of the largest penalties we pay from this fear is the loss of leadership as a Nation. Through the use of fear as a political tool all hope of leadership is cast aside. One does not lead through fear, one rules, one subjugates. Today Americans are subjugated through a tyranny of fear and ultimately a prison of their own making. We have become a cowering mass looking to our Nation to protect us from the numerous “boogie-men” created to shackle us.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
What we need is so leadership that looks to our challenges and pushes us to overcome them. We need leadership that says we can use wisdom and achievement to defeat our adversaries. We need leadership that urges us to either not be afraid or face our fears. We need leadership that is actually proud of our Nation and people rather than pandering to their basest reactions. Many of the fear that is most effectively channeled are deep-seated bigotry based on a changing World. We need leaders who embrace change as opportunity and strive to make the future better. Keeping the future as a hollow version of the past through bias, bigotry and fear is simply playing to worst of humanity’s traits. We need leadership that urges us to accentuate the best in fellow citizens and ourselves.
Take the threat of ISIS (ISIL). Are they really a threat? Really? A bunch of poorly educated barbarians half a world away? No they aren’t. Man the hell up, what sort of wimps have Americans become? They are a bunch of idiotic zealots that represent no threat at all to our Country. They are bad people that the World needs to manage, but not an actual threat. The actual threat is to our tax dollars. ISIS is another convenient threat used by the politicians and the military-security-industrial complex to drive money into their pockets. Nothing more.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in imaginary threats that Americans are allowing to rule their lives. Ebola is another great example. All we need is competence and it offers no threat. My only fear is that we can’t muster competence any more.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Along with leadership we need to embrace knowledge and understanding. This comes from a host of sources including the hard sciences as well as social science. The irony is that the USA has become the fear-based society running more on superstition than rational thought. We need to reject these irrational reasons for doing things. The rejection of rationality is not a left or right characteristic; it has become an American characteristic. Whether it is climate change, diseases (e.g., Ebola), nuclear power, vaccines, GMO and a host of other scientific or technological questions Americans are irrational. We have become governed by hoax and conspiracy rather than truth, trust and logic.
He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.