My argument today is borderline philosophic. I am no expert on fear, nor the ramifications of the peddling of fear. No. But what I do find is that the malaise of fear initiated at the hands of a gruesome, immoral, but small set of otherwise unpowerful terrorists and propagated by the W, Rove and Co in reciprocity to get buy in to their agenda proffers only a windfall for a very small minority of those in the war industry. Indeed, the malaise of fear has metastasized about the soul of America. In the end, the W, Rove and Co reaction to these terrorists only serves to inflate the terrorist agenda and legitimize their existence more than reduce the suggested threat.
What does this mean? No doubt, the W faithful are going to paint me as another one of them "fiburals" bandying about "fancy words" (as W would have you believe is a derogatory adjective) to bend your opinions. No, I don't mean to sway you with mere tapings on the keyboard. I'm suggesting that what we are witnessing as W claims to be sprinting through his last several months as President of our great nation is the wreckage wrought by his reckless propagation and inflation of fear.
In that regard, the current Administration has damaged our fine country, and they must be held accountable for their actions. Fear in other words, is not good and healthy for America. And Roosevelt was right when he suggested there is nothing else to fear but fear itself.
There will be no twelve step program to help us recover from going over the precipice as there is no means to retreat from our history. We, unfortunately, must travel to the bottom of the abyss and only then can we recover from this incarnation of a so called government. Why any one would run for President at this point in time escapes reason beyond the desire for the pursuit of power and sustaining the status quo - remember, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
When speaking to the republican faithful, who would suggest that we fight them there or else we fight them there, I say you have abandoned the greatest strength of America: that is of her courage. Remember, it used to be "land of the free, and the home of the brave."
It's not brave to bomb innocent people because you believe their leaders have weapons of mass destruction. Nor is it brave to occupy a nation under a changing premise. The W, Rove and Co bait and switch, notwithstanding, has become a universal expectation for making decisions based on faith over fact, belief over reason. Simply because you claim something to be true does not make it so. And this goes double for a president.
The umbrella of fear within which those in the W, Rove and Co base many judgments has to be a great burden. I don’t envy them those preoccupations. Terrorists don’t come at us like the usual demons. They attack us where we sleep, not necessarily when we sleep. Insidious, they’ve hit you over the head each time you reverberate that threat, and in that way, you choose to play the victim each and every time you mention their message and amplify their credence.
Me, I don’t legitimize their existence by playing that game. Moreover, I’m not afraid of terrorists I can’t control. They can’t control me, but it seems like they’ve got some of us by the proverbial nuts. I die when I die by the hands of terrorists or not. I could just as well get hit by a bus on my AM bike commute.
I can’t help that many in America have bought that bucket of fear sold at huge mark ups by the W, Rove and Co and continue to pay out on the loan used to purchase it. Unfortunately, I’m laden with their debt for it, as well as my children and my children's children…
My fear rests in a government gone haywire and usurping my liberties for political and personal gain. Again, I remember Ben Franklin, who said something like those who would trade liberty for a false sense of security are deserving of neither. You and I, my friends, have been sold us up the river without a paddle by the W, Rove and Co long ago, continuously, and often, and are proof positive of that fact.
In that end, it's only when we deny the legitimization of the "terrorist threat" that we become ultimately free of that threat. Certainly, this is not to argue that we abandon our mission to exterminate those who would perpetrate such evil. No, my argument is by sacrificing just one innocent life to extinguish the "threat" and then to turn around and only amplify that threat is to nullify that investment. Indeed, there are no heroics or bravery laced in it, and the wizard requiring such a quest in exchange for such "security" has no magic.
There is no courage that can be stapled to the chest of America for her sacrifices. And our only hope is to reclaim our country, eliminate the fear mongers as no good for America, and live our lives. No, this is not to say we bury our heads in the sand, but to give into the fear really means that you have abdicated your position to the fear the terrorists are selling. And if you are helping them laden out huge portions of fear on the American people, you have done more damage than good.
And as Forest Gump would say, that's about all I've got to say about that. Stupid is as stupid does...Oh, and I should say, the impetus behind this post was a comment left by SteveIl a regular commentator at www.teambio.org and a recent book I've skimmed which I will quote here (Shaw, 2006, The Four Vs of Leadership, pp 77-79):
Fear is an undermine of values
If a particular situation creates a sense of fear in us we will not be as effective as we want. Our values can go out the window if we feel a sense of panic. Understanding our fears and working with in them is a crucial part of being able to live our values effectively in the workplace. The character of an organization is personified by its senior leaders; if they generate a culture of fear the organization will soon die. Fear of the unknown or fear of uncertainty can result because of the limits of our experience. The wider our experience of different situations and people, the less is the likelihood of fear being the dominant influence.
Often we are dishonest with ourselves about what we fear and how best we might cope...Learning from our fears is a crucial part of embedding our values. Sometimes our fears are irrational: when we look at the objective facts our fears dissipate. On other occasions our fears are based on strong intuitive sense that all is not well. When we feel that sense of apprehension, it is right to begin to test weather something is awry in both the direction and values of the organization...
...The greatest damage to values comes through deceit and manipulation. Trust, either explicit or implicit, is crucial to effective relations at both personal and corporate levels. If there is any suspicion of deceit or manipulation, trust can rapidly evaporate...
...Sometimes values are a strong power for good. Sometimes they can be undermining. For example, unblinkered loyalty can mean that an individual is blind to changing circumstances. Many people know of situations where they have set a great store by loyalty, but this loyalty has then not been returned by others. Loyalty can be a very powerful motivating force that keeps you focused through difficult situations. but if you are blind to others abusing that loyalty the end result will be resentment...
P.S. In reality, the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. It's not that we have no where to turn, but that we have no where to turn but ourselves. And fortunately, for the most part, there are courageous Americans out there that will, once the malaise has been surgically removed by our next election cycle, step up and reclaim and work to restore out Great Nation.