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Sunday, December 30, 2007

All We Have to Fear Are Candidates Selling Fear


Courtesy If one is fortunate they never experience the trauma of long-term and chronic fear. I agree wholeheartedly with the "fight or flight" syndrome; that is, when confronted with a threat we either avoid it or fight back if cornered.

But fear can also be used, manipulated. Very few Americans have ever heard of Bobby Sands. He was incarcerated at Long Kesh Prison for possession of firearms. Sands was a volunteer with the Irish Republican Army. Claiming that he and other IRA members were political, rather than criminal prisoners, he took part in a hunger strike. In May, 1981, Bobby Sands died.

Following his death there were numerous mock funerals for Mr. Sands. I was in the city of Limerick when one occurred there. It was the first time in my life that I saw fear on peoples' faces. Or trepidation. There was also anger, as the "funeral" was surrounded by an air of intimidation. If any business was open during the march down O'Connell Street, there were implied repercussions. What was eye-opening was the display of how civil authority could be so openly challenged.

That memory was the first thing to come to my mind when I read Bill Clinton Warns of "Unexpected", a Washington Post article by Alec MacGillis.

Addressing more than 100 supporters gathered at a VFW hall here, Clinton said that there were four reasons to vote for his wife: her vision, her plans, her experience -- the three reasons he has been giving in his stump speech until now -- plus, he said, a fourth, the threat of the unknown.

"Here's the other thing you need to know, the most important thing of all. You have to have a leader who is strong and commanding and convincing deal with the unexpected," he said. "There is a better than a 50 percent chance that sometime in the first year or 18 months of the next presidency something will happen that is not being discussed in this campaign. President Bush never talked about Osama Bin Laden and didn't foresee Hurricane Katrina. And if you're not ready for that then everything else you do can be undermined. You need a president that you trust to deal with something that we will not discuss in this campaign....And I think on this score she's the best of all."

I know that there are a number of endorsements for different candidates being offered. The best I can do is put forth a few "un-endorsements," specifically for two candidates. They are Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Guiliani has been a fear-monger from the get-go, and now we have the one man in America we can all trust telling us that his wife is our only salvation. From "it," whatever "it" is or will be.

Before contemplating who would be the best person to sit in the Oval Office on January 20th, 2009, it behooves us to look at 16 years of the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton(?) dynasty. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both scrambled for their "legacies" in the waning months of their presidencies. It can best be summed up thusly: 8 years of a very cynical con artist followed by 8 years of a very cynical bully.

With the death of Benizar Bhutto, the emphasis of the campaign is veering towards the appeal of fear. Fear is a very emotional and irrational reaction to a threat. Constant fear, promoted for political gain, is nothing more than subjecting an entire society to massive Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's quite an effective technique in shredding the Constitution along with an extremely dangerous expansion of executive power.

But....but....there's a war on, ya know? Of course there is; there always will be. Orwell's 1984 describes the ever-changing alliances in the world, with allies and enemies constantly changing. And, with history itself re-written every few years to accommodate the agenda of "Big Brother." A common theme in Orwell's book is "Big Brother loves you."

Well, to hell with Big Brother. I don't want any government "loving" me to death because that's exactly what happens. Instilling fear into the populace is the key to the door of oppression.

Hatred is fear's roommate. Watch closely; see beyond the rhetoric and in most cases you'll see fear transformed into hatred.

In the meantime, the earth may be melting, Martians may conquer us, Islamic hordes may sweep across the world, and God forbid I might actually be mortal and die someday, despite the nanny state assuring me that this will not come to pass if I just fear everything.

How about a little encouragment? You know, the kind that tells us that we can make things happen; that tells us to believe in ourelves and our republic DESPITE the oafs who "serve" in the government.

But perhaps hope is too much to hope for.

************************ This post kindly featured at MemeOrandum

Cross-posted at

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