Summary: As I have shown so often, both Left and Right have adopted fear-mongering as one of their major methods of communicating with the American public. Both sides employ competent professionals, so there must be good reasons for doing so. Perhaps we have become fearful. Perhaps we have become cowards. However and for whatever reasons this has happened, recognition of the problem is the first step to the cure. We need not be like this.
“Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful — horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember…”
— An insight from a demon (they know us well), from The ScrewTape Letters, by C. S. Lewis (1959)
Today’s fear-mongering (one of an endless series I run on Twitter):
“When I look at the map that the General Keane described, I think of the United States. I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorist ability to operate in Syria and Iraq.”
— Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC, member of the Armed Services Committee) on Fox News Sunday, 10 August 2014, Transcript here.
Our relatively few sober analysts look at the news and produce a stream of debunking analysis. Like this: “America’s most terrified senator: Lindsey Graham’s never-ending doomsday visions“, Simon Maloy, Salon, 15 September 2014 — “Lindsey Graham says ISIS can destroy entire American cities and kill all of us. A look at a very scared man.” But there’s never enough such people, and they tend to target political opponents. So their work, however valuable, is functionally indistinguishable from the poo-throwing that is American political discourse.
There are a few people willing to ask the painful question. Such as Michael Krieger: “The American Public: A Tough Soldier or a Chicken Hawk Cowering in a Cubicle? Some Thoughts on ISIS Intervention“, Liberty Blitzkrieg, 10 September 2014 — Opening:
You gotta love the American public sometimes. For a mass of people so easily terrified by guys in caves funded and armed by our intelligence services and “allies” in the Persian Gulf, the same public talks with such armchair bravado when it comes to launching bombs from drones and sending other people’s children to die.
Makes you wonder though, which one is it? Is the American public actually the tough guy soldier it pretends to be when cheering overseas military interventions, or is it really a scared, propagandized, coward hiding in one of our nation’s endless cubicle rows? Unfortunately, based on recent opinion polls demonstrating approval for military action against ISIS, it appears to be the latter. The former is merely a front put on by that terrified, economically insecure, silently suffering automaton. I really wish this weren’t the case.
For More Information about fear
(a) Posts about fear in America
(b) Posts about fear in America:
- Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?, 25 February 2013
- Compare our New America to the America-that-once-was (a great nation), 12 June 2013
- A vision of a perilous future for us all, and recommendations to avoid it, 6 August 2013
(c) Samples of the countless articles about the Left’s most recent predictions of doom:
- “New UN Climate Report: We’re All Doomed“, Jamie Condliffe, Gizmodo, 31 March 2014
- “Human extinction: is it possible?“, Julian Cribb, The Age, 2 April 2014
(d) Posts about examples of the Left’s appeals to fear:
- Propaganda: the eco-fable of Easter Island, 4 February 2010
- The North Pole is now a lake! Are you afraid yet?, 3 August 2013
- The IPCC rebukes the climate doomsters. Will we listen?,
15 October 2013
- Apocalyptic thinking on the Left about climate change risks burning their credibility, 4 February 2014
- A warning about the end of the world (doomster scenario #137), 23 March 2014
(d) Posts about the Right’s appears to fear:
- Today’s conservative doomster warning (ludicrous but fun), 1 August 2010
- Hatred and fear of Islam – of Moslems – is understandable. But are there hidden forces at work?, 3 August 2010
- About the mystery missile launch (America the fearful, chapter XX), 10 November 2011
- Inciting fear of inflation in our minds for political gain (we are easily led), 28 February 2011
- Danger, America! Wet your pants in fear of China!, 4 June 2013
- The NRA feeds our fears, the fast track to political power in America, 29 April 2014
3 thoughts on “Why are we so fearful? Have we become cowards?”
Fear is natural, it’s instinct, it’s the normal state of being for humans and animals.
Courage must be learned, and earned, through trial of fire. I’m not necessarily talking about combat. Any time we take initiative and attempt something outside our comfort zone, we take a step away from a fearful life.
Despite all our complaining about economics and politics, we are very comfortable today in America.
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