We have nothing to fear but fear itself?

May 18, 2017

This was a phrase used by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural address of March 4, 1933. As with many famous lines, this one was borrowed from an essay by Sir Francis Bacon, who said, “Nothing is terrible except fear itself.”

The use of fear in the political agenda is historic and generational. Every generation gets its taste of fear mongering and the whipping up of emotions about one issue or another. Political ads show the little old lady being pushed off of the cliff in her wheel chair, aimed at stirring the passions against those who are presumably against the elderly. Or it is children. Always children. Parade out the children who are going to suffer because of an issue and it works every time. Passions overrule brain cells and every political strategist known this.

We have many issues right now that are presented to garner fear and gain support. Now, I am not saying that warning the child playing on the railroad tracks in front of an oncoming train do not need to be warned, but all too often the train we are warned about is a presumption that is never focused into reality. It is just left out there to be imagined.


Yes, there is a train here, but there may not be a good set of tracks. The Pillsbury Dough boy of N. Korea has every intention of gaining world attention by blowing the United States off of the globe. Rest assured, that motivation cannot be overstated. And S. Korea, Japan and the rest of N. Korea’s neighbors are in distress and should be. Regardless of his ability to do so, this guy is bent on fame at the price of destruction.

Yet, this is a ‘Paper Tiger” issue. N. Korea will continue to rattle sabers until we or China or Russia or all of us together, see that Kim Jong-un either disappears or is crushed be the weight he carries (pun intended).

This whole issue must be dealt with but it will be. No big fear issue for the US here.


OK, so the whole issue here has taken on a new reality. The statistics are hard to ignore and even the manufactured statistics do not carry as much weight as they used to in the “Al Gore-ian” crisis days. Our terminology now is ‘climate change’ and everyone agrees that it is changing as it has been since the beginning of time. The issues are now between the long range and the short-term interpretation of the statistics. Since the statistics continue to change this issue should keep us talking for a long time but the level of fear of a some immediate and impending anhelation is not high on the fear charts anymore.


According to the latest fear monger statistics, there were 62,985,106 Russian agents who voted in the 2016 presidential election. Putin must be reveling in his new-found power over the world as he not only rides semi-naked into town on his horse, but strikes fear into the voting booths of every state in the union. Logical? No, just the passionate fear generated by those who have to blame their loss on something other than their being out of touch with reality, and the American people.

Did the Russians try to influence the election? I do not doubt it for one minute. But did they come to my house to influence me? Not that I can remember, but then I am old and my memory is not what it used to be.


WOW! The FBI has finally become the political arm of the Republican party! We can blame James Comey for Hillary’s loss and for allowing the Russians into our voting booths. But his firing was not a good idea, or can you have this issue both ways. Seems like he should be good for us or bad for us rather than a confusing mix of both. Maybe you can have it both ways.

The fact that he had become a lightning rod of the political agenda on both sides would seem to justify his departure, but then maybe not. At least not while he can be used as a point of fear mongering and charges of corruption by Trump and his minions, by his left leaning opponents.

Wow! This is confusing. I am not sure which side everyone is one, and that betrays the focal point of irrational fear being promulgated and used by everyone involved.

The FBI is a strong and historically sound agency. It will survive and it will do its job. My personal involvement with law enforcement for many years leaves me without any fear of the agencies becoming a political hack for any candidate or party.


There are many issues in our political world that become useful means of complaining or excusing and to which fear can be attached. It is the fine art or the fear-misters that manipulates the words, phrases and media outlets to generate passions, encourage fears and get the spot light for its 15 minutes of fame.


What I fear the most is the irrational passions and extremist positions taken by those who are using the fears to gain support for their sectarian agenda.

We are polarized as a nation. When Obama took office, his immediate revelation of his socialist agenda created reaction on the right. There were counter positions taken and articles written and statements made. But the reaction to Trump is a new and different animal. It is harsh, unrelenting, and violent. Demonstrations continue long past what we might expect in a political loss. The left has become unified and separate and passionate.

I fear that we shall not suffer greatly from the enemies outside our walls but from the polarizations that threatens to break our national sovereignty and our united will. We have long since ceased to be one culture. We have not emphasized an American Cultural identity and it now threatens to bring us to war with ourselves. America is not a nation seen by its constituent parts through the same lens of reality. We have separate and distinct realities that cannot be synthesized into a common whole.

Although our system of government and national heritage has always been tolerant of difference and separate opinions, it cannot survive when we have no common ground, no mutual means of communication and when our realities are at war as polar opposites.

This is what I fear! I fear ourselves and our inability to hear each other and to communicate on a common logical ground of reality.