We have become a nation of sissys. Everywhere we look there are people warning of this and warning us of that. New regulations on everything in the name of safety or saving the environment or whatever. Advertisers are among the worst of them, but no one plays the fear mongering game better than both of our major political parties. Sure, people on the Right say that it is the Left playing on our fears and people on the left say the Right are the culprits; but honestly both play the game to perfection – all in the name of votes and control.
The left are economic fear mongers. Certainly there is cause for concern in each field. On the economic front all we have heard about for the last year is economic doom and gloom. If one just paid attention to the news, they would think that things were worse than the depression. The housing crunch and high gas prices are definitely terrible and having a negative affect on the economy, I concede that the economy is hurting, but it is far from dire. We aren’t even in a recession, despite the fact that is all we have heard about. In fact, the Commerce Department announced today that the economy grew at a staggering 1.9%. What? it grew? not only that, it grew more than most European countries do in normal economic times! So even when the U.S. economy is in the crapper, we still are stronger than France. Amazing.
This bit of economic growth, despite being better than forecast, doesn’t mean that all is past. Much of that growth was impacted by the economic stimulus package. A benefit we won’t have in Q3, so it is quite reasonable to assume that growth will be worse in the next report, perhaps even negative. But a recession is not a recession until there are 3 consecutive quarters of negative movement, something I predict will not occur. It sure feels to me that we have already passed the bottom and are on the way back up. If so, we will have ridden through this economic crisis extremely well and many of us may be wondering what all the fuss was about. All the Left has done is try to strike fear in all of us and, arguably, have caused a significant portion of the economic downfall as a result.
But the Right is no better, and they are often scarier. The right are security fear mongers. They won the 2002 and 2004 election playing on our fears. The fact is terrorism is not an existential threat to America. Period. Sure they are a threat, they have and may again kill thousands of Americans. But they don’t threaten the our very existence. Our government has a duty to protect us, but they also have the duty to preserve our freedoms, and that is something that the GOP, especially the executive branch have been threatening. Have you ever heard Secretary Chertoff speak? I stopped on C-Span a few months ago to listen to Chertoff; he spoke on a national ID card. As I listened to his reasoning all I pictured was no privacy and the government with an eye on everything. I say now that Chertoff is the most dangerous person in our Government. Sometimes, people become so focused on one mission, in this case protecting us, that they lose the importance of other considerations.
To me freedom is more important than security. As an American, I recognize that with freedom comes threat and danger. I am ok with that. I recognize that terrorists will strike again, it is an inevitability. I just hope that our government doesn’t create a police state in the name of trying to prevent one. The role of our government is to ensure freedom above all else. I recognize that some things need to be tightened up, but within reason.
The problem the government faces is that they are full of elected officials. And whomever is in power when the next terrorist strike occurs will not be in power the next election. The opposing party will crucify them and the American people will buy it like lemmings. It is a real shame. Basically, in order to preserve their own job, historical legacy, and votes our elected officials will continue to take away freedoms in the name of national security (and don’t think the dems won’t do when they are in power, they will).
Ultimately, fear mongering is the political play of our time and it wll continue to be as long as the people walk around like sheep and care more about Anna Nicole Smith than the successes in Iraq. The economy is not in as terrible shape as the Democrats would have us think and our safety and security is not as threatened as the Republicans would have us believe. Don’t believe the hype.
P.S. The same principle applies to the Environment, is there a bigger example of fear mongering than that. Ridiculous.