Fear, Fear, Fear

Fear is the most powerful human motivator, albeit a negative one. We will do pretty much anything out of fear.

Our president is an expert fear monger and the administration is again using fear to get from the American people what it wants.

After 9/11, President Bush, in consistent messages, painted a bleak picture where terrorists were attacking the United States homeland, with devious methods, weapons of mass destruction and suitcase nuclear weapons.

We were scared shitless. And blinded by that fear, the American public and the Congress allowed the “Patriot Act” to happen. Sweeping measures to give the president powers he never had before were passed without much fanfare and public outcry. Torture became an acceptable practice sanctioned by the US government. Civil liberties were taken away. Our phone calls can now be eavesdropped without permission. Our homes can be invaded and searched without a warrant, yes, without us even knowing it took place. The list goes on.

We let it happen out of fear — stoked by the president personally.

Then, based on concocted “evidence”, in some cases outright forgery, lies and misstatements, the administration had us believe that Saddam was linked to 9/11 and therefore a preemptive war against Iraq was necessary. When that didn’t fly right away, evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was produced and sold wholesale by Bush’s men, including Colin Powell. The administration used fear to motivate us to allow it to attack and invade Iraq. The rest is history.

Today, the president went on national TV and painted a terrible picture of financial ruin, total meltdown of the financial system, unless we bypassed all debate, reason, thought and quickly passed a bailout package of $700 billion, the purpose of which isn’t clear and the amount of which isn’t substantiated. They don’t even know what to do with the $700 billion. They want it just in case.

Would you trust this government with your money?

But the president, whose job it is to keep the country safe, who should reassure the country, is whipping up the panic. I must suspect in an effort to usurp $700 billion for somebody — for failed companies, CEOs that obviously don’t know what they are doing, all in the name of security. We’re quickly, in a knee jerk reaction, spending more money in one day than the country has ever before spent, on the word of a panicked president.

Last time the president took many of our rights and civil liberties away, contrary to what the founding fathers of our country had in mind, and most of us didn’t even notice.

This time he is reaching into our wallets. Are we noticing?

Nowhere in tonight’s speech did the president take any responsibility for this mess in the first place. I guess it all just happened. Oh well. But we better be scared unless we do what he wants.

Or else.

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