It’s not just that a whole generation of kids who get regularly belted by their parents, who are warned that if they behave in a certain manner they’ll go to hell, or that their faces will freeze in some horrible contorted way, or that they will be thrown out of the house, are becoming Republicans.
It’s that virtually the whole country is populated by adults who have been raised in a climate of fear by a media and a government that are hell-bent on scaring the shit out of everyone.
now cowers in fear at the imagined threats of a landlocked group of uneducated and incredibly poor people living in a country that is a throwback to the 16th century.
When the Twin Towers in New York City were attacked and struck by two planes and collapsed, I agree it was a horrible shock, but at no point was the United States threatened.
But the reaction of the American public to this attack on 9-11-2001, encouraged mightily by the US government, was to hunker down, beg for police-state laws, and to stop all normal activity.
This is not rational behavior.
They’re “keeping us safe,” people think, even as they rush out to buy guns in record numbers.
The depths to which this nation has sunk in this miasma of mindless fear became apparent when President Obama, at both the first abysmal debate and the third, opened his remarks by declaring that it was his primary duty as president “to keep Americans safe.”
I thought the primary responsibility of the president of the United States was to defend the Constitution. In fact, here’s the presidential oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
It’s our Constitution and our freedom that the president is supposed to be defending, not our safety!
Imagine President George Washington, or President Abraham Lincoln, saying that their “number one goal” was to “keep Americans safe”!
I was at a gathering of journalists last night ~ the annual dinner of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship program. Actually it was a gathering of journalists, bankers, public relations executives and media tycoons, all of the latter of whom help to fund this program at Columbia University designed to train journalists to report on financial and economic affairs. A former director, Pauline Tai, from Hong Kong, an old friend, was talking with me and said that she was amazed in her visits back to the US, at how afraid Americans have become.
We remarked on how bizarre that was. America is far and away the most powerful nation in the world, favored in so many ways with abundant resources, with a diverse culture and population, and yet its people cower in fear.
The same can be said of much of the rest of the world, from what I have seen in my own travels. Look at Greece. It is seeing its economy destroyed and pillaged by the greedy demands of banks in northern Europe and by the governments of the more powerful economies in the European Union, yet far from cowering in fear, its people are fighting back in massive public demonstrations.
The worst thing about all this fear and fear-mongering is that it has turned the US into a nation of conspiracy theorists, so ready to believe the most far-fetched plots and schemes by the rich and powerful that we Americans are unable to see the real challenge facing not just us, but the entire world: the threat of catastrophic climate change.
It is time for Americans to reject the fear-mongering, and to take responsibility for our own society and government.