Saturday, August 07, 2010

Boo!


We have become a nation of scaredy-cats. Whatever happened to "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?" Now, the only things we seem to fear are everything and everyone. Why is it so easy to scare the American public?

Nine years later, we are still speaking in hushed tones about 9/11 as if it happened yesterday. Yes, it was horrible. Yes, people in New York were traumatized. So were people in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. The media appear to be the ones keeping the trauma alive. They don't seem able to move on. 9/11 has become a mantra, somewhat like "Remember the Alamo". I can't believe the people most closely involved in that terrible time enjoy being reminded of it on an almost daily basis.

I guess we've always been afraid of something. Back in good old bad old days, it was the Red Menace (Russia) or the Yellow Peril (China) that had us furiously digging up our back yards and installing bomb shelters. At least, back then, we felt we could take some sort of action to assuage our fears. Nowadays, we just all run in circles, fleeing our shadows.

There is a song from "South Pacific" that says, "You've got to be taught to be afraid of people whose skin is a different shade." How true. We are afraid of swarthy people (Muslims), Brown people (Mexicans), Black people (Obama) but, we are mostly afraid of each other, Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians. Even the people who live next door look suspicious to us and we, in turn look suspicious to them. After all, didn't we just uncover a ring of Soviet Spies, inept and ineffectual though they may have been, whose neighbors all thought they were good, honest folk?

Our fears wax and wane with each political season. But, the people we seem to fear the most this year are the Gays. We are afraid that if they are allowed to marry, they will do - what? Become equal? Have the same marriage benefits as non-gays? Why in the world didn't they just stay in their closets? Are we afraid that now that we have to confront the issue, we will come to understand that their lifestyle is genetic and not necessarily their choice? Oh, that scary science!

Finally, we are being taught to fear our government. We fear the onset of Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, just any old "ism" we can think of. We don't seem to realize that our fears are unfounded and can be laid at the feet of today's politicians, willing to use any scare tactic they can think of, just to win an election. Then, after they succeed, and so often they do, they go on with their lives, never thinking of the emotional damage they have done. Everything goes along as usual in Washington.

But, outside of the beltway, people are more afraid than they were before the election. Scaredy-cats all.

Stay tuned.

16 comments:

Janie B said...

Wow! Direct hit right on the nail.

Linda said...

We are indeed afraid of our own shadows these days. It's sad.

Barry said...

Excellent!

savannah said...

amen, sister! xoxoxox

Margie's Musings said...

I agree with all you've said. I refuse to be afraid. I can recall when we were taught to call the dreaded Japanese "Japs" and "Nips". Now they are our allies. Propaganda teaches us to hate and fear. After all, we would not kill someone we didn't hate or fear.

Ardith said...

I think you are right. I am so tired of defending our president against racial and religious slurs. It seems people are afraid of their own shadow and take it out on whomever happens to be in the spotlight. There seems to be no respect for the position any more....whether you voted for Obama or not, the position should be respected. How can all the people who voted for him be wrong???? Ack!
Makes me so frustrated!!

Kay Dennison said...

I'm with you Betty!!!!! The only thing that scares me are some folks actually buying into the fear-mongering that certain people of a certain party -- especially the ones of a certain faction -- are playing fast and loose with the truth and making it all worse.

Sigh

Arkansas Patti said...

All of the above.

Darlene said...

This is a wonderful post Betty and you really nailed it. The politicians are experts at exploiting our insecurities and it's disgraceful.

I think I want to go back to the era of 'peaceniks'and 'It's a wonderful world'. Brotherhood seems to be dead. So sad.

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent analysis of where we are in our society, unfortunate as that is. The "us vs. them mentality" is not only hurtful, but can be used to turn our society violently against one another. I fear that the hate that is simmering out there beyond the beltway will boil over-then be exploited even further..... I worry about a situation similar to Germany pre-Hitler. Scary stuff....

alwaysinthebackrow

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Jay said...

This was all done by design. Our government finds it easier to do whatever it wants when the people of this country are at war with each other.

While we're busy keeping an eye on that suspicious neighbor down the street, who's keeping an eye on what crazy stuff the government is doing to us? Not the news media, they're too busy giving us updates on celebrities and golfers who can't keep their pants zipped.

Cazzie!!! said...

I fear our Government, they are a pack of idiots, and our election is nigh. So sad, one leader is pushed aside by their own backup person and we have a new Prime Minister and not even an elected one. I sure don't know who I will vote for and isn't it amazing? Here it is law to vote or be fined heftily. Anywhere else there are wars to be allowed the right to vote. Hmm

Anonymous said...

The time for socialism is now. The time for the rich to share their wealth is now. The time for limited freedom is now. No country should be free. Government is the only way to solve all these problems. Hail to Oboma and may he rule for 8 years. Capitalism should be no more and the press should be surpressed. They talk to much. People do not need know everything.

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