Fear is an internal alarm – that beast chasing you is an immediate mortal threat! But fear is useless when dealing with the abstractions and nuances of modern life, where rationality is the survival skill.
· After 9/11, government fed our fear, railroading into a bloody foreign policy failure – without leaving a mark on 9/11’s true perpetrators.
· Splinter factions and fundamentalist shock troops are now equipped with tons of US ordinance we left behind.
· The ranks of ISIS are filled with Iraqi-military, after we pushed them into involuntary exile. This is lawless fundamentalism, armed and staffed by our intentionally groomed fear.
America stepped up from economic collapse to defeat history’s most advanced military and depraved political force, in World War II. Now we’re told to shudder before the “greatest threat since the Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich” – a band of desert sociopaths who, every last one of them, couldn’t fillCamden Yards.
Since 2010 (when DEFICIT!!! was the preferred panic of fearmongers)congress has cut Ebola vaccine research spending by half. They watched WallStreet loot your retirement, but *hooray!* less funding for science pimps. Political hacks will set public health policy on the fly, demanding dramatic travel boycotts that medical experts oppose, and theatrically harassing health workers; this fear response is from the fear of losing an election. Some gullible pols so fear their president, they boycott his nominations. When political grifters commandeer public health policy:
· We face the challenge of Ebola without a surgeon general.
· Vaccine research on Ebola is years behind where it could have been.
· Harassment of health workers becomes a political gimmick, and isolating the part of the world in most dire need of western expertise, as well as economic activity, hampers containment of this epidemic exactly where doing so is most critical: in western Africa.
From fear of a president’s nominees, fear of problems unaddressed by an empty office, to denial of educated expertise, so goes the nation that could once marshal resources, under a handicapped president, to defeat polio.
· We fear the virus from which one person has died in America.
· Flu kills as many as 49,000 annually, especially those without access to health care. Yet…
· The Tea-stained GOP House majority, rhetorically incontinent after the Affordable Care Act, barked through over 50 failed votes to repeal health care for tens of millions of people.
As firearms carnage mounts, our fearful/angry caucus breaks into the kindergarten bathroom dance, demanding more weapons everywhere.Elementary school shootings? Up-Arm the teachers! University slaughter? Concealed carry for campuses! Unhappy populace, jaywalking teens, you’ve watched too much“COPS”? Militarize the police! America no longer holds the lamp that lights the golden door; America twitches in fearful crouch, clutching so many guns wedon’t know which ways they’re all pointing.
Politicians sell fear because they think they’re selling to cowards. Whether telling epidemiologists to stay away (Thanks, Gov. Jindal!), birthing “democracy” in Iraq, “showing those thugs who’s in charge” our streets, or packing heat to buy a sandwich, when imagination extends only to fast, fearful responses, we hand our fate to Murphy’s bloody Law every time.