The Politics of Fear
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said during his inauguration speech in 1933:
" .... let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”
President Roosevelt uttered these words as he took stewardship of the United States of America during the period that came to be known as the Great Depression, a national and worldwide occurrence that began toward the end of 1929 and is said to have ended in the 1940's.
At present, many have characterized the challenges being faced by the Obama administration and the nation as the most daunting since the Great Depression and many have succumb to embracing the politics of fear as the nation and the world travel into unchartered territory.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, the campaign saw, in the Democratic Party during the primary, the first viable woman candidate, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, square off against the first viable African American candidate, Senator Barack Obama, for the presidency of the United States, as well as the Republican Party's first woman vice presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin, who joined Senator John McCain on the presidential ticket.
As the campaign for the presidency narrowed to the two major candidates from the Republican and Democratic Parties, Senators McCain and Obama, fear had already been implemented as a tool to sway voters away from rational, decision making processes.
Not the usual kind of fear mongering one would expect, limited to issues but, a more insidious, warped attempt to paint the leading candidate as un-American, untrustworthy, a candidate whose evil design was to destroy the nation and ultimately, the world.
On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, winning the popular vote by almost 10,000,000 votes, with an electoral count of 365 to 173, with 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Barack Hussein Obama Jr. became the first African American elected to the office of President of the United States.
What has been striking about the election of this president is the continued attacks, since his inauguration in January 2009, on every facet of his being, with many of the attacks offering a variety of intricate postulations and theories, delivered in firm, sometimes shrill, declarative voices, that range from the down right silly to the deviously sublime, giving any so inclined conspiracy theorist an orgasmic smorgasbord of choices from which to choose.
The pre-occupation of those who seek every opportunity to cast dispersion from a place of fear and doubt are declared freedom of speech, with all citizens of the United States of America said to be guaranteed this right.
At this time, when the nation and the world are struggling to emerge on the other side of its current location, facing enormous challenges at home and abroad, with many of the issues faced today having been put into motion through policies implemented over two decades ago, maybe considering the words of President Roosevelt wouldn't be such a bad use of one's time, in an effort to get beyond irrational fear, “ .... nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Also at NowPublic : The 'Right Wing' Conspiracy