Beware of the Age of Fear.
Not the dark, unreasoning fear, the fear of the unknown, the fear of poverty, destitution and calamitous disaster. No, not that fear. Not even one, all-encompassing fear—not the phobic kind of fear that paralyzes every movement.
No…we are not talking about that age-old, traditional fear…the fear of hell fire and damnation loosed somehow on us after death or in some similar form of punishment while we are still in our mortal state.
This is something else. Beware of new fears…American fears. They are manufactured fears. They are fears brought to you for public consumption, riding along on every news cycle. They are the fears constructed by the propagandists of the new era of Republicanism. They are the fears brought to you by the New Disciples of Fear…the Neocons.
Oh, yes, we have had our fear mongers before. When religion met radio, fear of hellfire and brimstone was the principal player in their melodrama. When politics met television fear found its eternal match, beginning with Communists behind every couch, from Senator Joe McCarthy. And when television found Ronald Reagan, fear in politics became entertainment…the “Evil Empire” and ultimately George W. Bush’s “axis of evil.”
Today, with every positive word, with every step forward for the People, the Disciples of Fear step to the microphone to suggest an alternative fear. The world is coming to an end, they say, in 2012. The Mexicans are invading the country. The Muslims are hiding in the attics of Mosques. The President is somehow a spawn of the Devil, never born, no birth certificate, despite the one being held up in plain sight, by the relevant authorities, in broad daylight, on international television.
We see fears raised on television every day. Fear…not of death..but of not being able to afford the funeral. Fear of the lack of health or auto insurance. Fear of sitting too long at the computer or becoming impotent or lacking sleep or being depressed or being unhygienic in any one of a dozen ways, including teeth so dark they scare children. Fear of being alone for a day or a month or five years. Advertising has always played on fears. But now fear has permeated politics.
The Neocons have fears of paying too much in taxes, of not having more military than the rest of the world combined, of allowing New Orleans to regain its wonderful ambiance, of not knowing the outcome of the latest reality program, or never being able to afford that secure, gated community.
And all the while we plod through daily lives waiting. We are always waiting, because fear holds you in its grip. American political life is run by fear. Neocon Republican Senators, 40 of them, filibustered 290 times to prevent legislation, largely directed towards improving the economy, from coming to the President’s desk for signature.
What do they fear, these Neoconservative Republicans, the Neocons? Do they fear disclosure of sexual deviance, like Larry Craig, or solicitation of prostitutes, like David Vitter, or an affair, like Terry Sanford, or criminal activity, like Duke Cunningham? Well, in a sense…yes. They fear truth. They fear justice. They fear the love of the common man for his fellow human counterparts. They fear that some one person out there, in what they see as that wild, unruly universe of Americans, will succeed in business or religion or government over their objections. They fear the basic rule that mothers use to guide every three-year-old…they fear that they will be forced to share.
Most of all, as greed brought them to the pinnacle of their achievement…the cunning to deceive an entire state…often through bribes and intimidation and ruinous lies about their political opponents…they are afraid of losing what they have acquired. The Neocon is motivated by a false sense of righteousness. No, not “right” but their sense of “righteousness.”
They don’t fear God. If you had voted to cause the deaths of 4,400 young Americans and a minimum of a quarter-of-a-million Iraqis…deliberately…you did it…would you fear when you stood before Jesus Christ or an even more omnipotent Father figure? Would you fear if you denied unemployment benefits to a million people who would then have no funds to live? Would you fear knowing that you knew that they would have no money for food for their children…all the while also knowing that there was really no good reason for denying these funds? Would you fear what some angry God might do to you?
Not if you really don’t believe in God or Christian principles. Then you do what Neocons do, or what, indeed, Nazis did in the 1930s and 1940s. You simply make up the rules that benefit you most. You call them Christian, or call them anything…Muslim, Hebrew, or Irish. The point is that it is contradictory and unreasonable to think someone is religious when you deliberately lead an anti-Christian life and purposefully cause great pain that you could have avoided or prevented. No one believes that a rational God would accept this without punishment.
The fears the Neocons bring to the public awareness change over time. One set of fears was about a “mushroom cloud” over Washington or New York City from weapons of mass destruction that never existed. Hans Blix, recently in testimony before Congress outlined the procedures demanded by the United Nations for Saddam Hussein to even be allowed to stay as head of Iraq.
The rules that Sadam was forced to live under were incredibly comprehensive. Not a stick or a stone could have been hidden. Cheney and Bush knew this. Yet they created their own faulty intelligence to create an excuse to go to war. They used not only fear, but mass hysteria, based on lies, to create a public mood that forced enough Democrats in Congress to go along with a declaration enabling the President to go to war. Fear was the best motive and driver of what they wanted to do. So they created it out of whole cloth.
The Neocons make fear of everything that you can make fearful—that’s the Neocon way of life. For example, denigrate the people of New Orleans. In the face of perhaps the greatest natural disaster this country has ever seen, the Bush Administration deliberately turned away from the plight of the people of New Orleans.
The message from the Neocons in the Bush Administration, and the Rush Limbaughs and the Sean Hannitys for the first time was clear: “We own you. We can let you live or create the circumstances that will make you die. No water and you die. No shelter and you die. No food and you die. Fear us, because we control your lives.” And they did.
That was the Neocon message. And then Cheney sent in the black boots, the Blackwater thugs in their black SUVs with authority…not from the city, or the state or the Congress…authority directly from their mob boss…Dick Cheney. And they roamed the streets of New Orleans like the Gestapo roaming Munich…doing and saying whatever they damn well pleased.
This is why people hate Blackwater. People don’t hate the police. But they hate thugs pretending to be police, with some sort of undefined authority to order our lives to their liking. People don’t like secret police in dark cars wearing concealing dark glasses.
After Katrina we understood real fear, real fear of a government that would deprive us of what we need to survive. The very thing that we spent 50 years to overcome—until Reagan–to insure would never happen again, these Neocon Senators and these evil…simply evil…Republican Corporate-Owned Neocon Congressmen did their best to overturn. And they do it every day in Congress.
They have postponed unemployment for those without anything left. They have seen to it that people’s homes—one-third to one-half of them in some areas of the country—have less value than the mortgage. And so for those of you without that problem, here’s what it means: they have left you no solution.
If a mortgage has been raised under a legal contract to the point where the payment is double what the person originally signed up for—which has happened on ARM mortgages—and if the house has lost 20% of its value…which of course is actually less than many homes have lost—then the home owner is working for the mortgage company.
The home owners can’t walk away or they will not be able to buy another home, perhaps in their lifetime. They can’t afford to stay because the mortgage is costing them more than they can pay and still live. This is the desperate situation that the neglect of our mortgage markets and our financial markets…which fed on the expansion and speculation of this for years…created. This is what greedy, unregulated industry brings.
Neocons don’t care about people. Greedy bastards don’t care about people. If you care about people they think you are naïve or silly or stupid. Daily life is about electing people so that they will have the power to say whether people live or die in New Orleans or Cleveland or Seattle. Or which people will live or die in those places and others.
Neocons are not like the rest of us. We often hear the fear-mongering words, promoted thoroughly every day on Neocon-sponsored radio and television…that President Obama is a tyrant, is a dictator, is a Stalinist or a Nazi. But that is, in fact, a Nazi trick.
Of course, President Obama, successful or not in his goals thus far, is just the opposite. He kept many Republicans in his administration…too many. Most of them are Neocon spies and saboteurs. He has tried to deal with Neocons…which is a fool’s errand. At one point when everyone else was frustrated by Neocon obstructionism, he reached across the aisle, on national television, to bring Republicans to the table…just to get them to meet with Democrats…about a real fearsome problem…the extraordinarily high costs of health care.
But the Neocons did not respond. Hawks do not share. If you look to history, the Nazis never made one small overture…ever. They burned down the Reichstag and blamed the Communists. They created situation after situation, completely invented, of fear and danger and blamed the Jews. Of course, they were the ones responsible for doing those things for which they blamed the Jews. And they finally grew tired of any politics at all and began to kill anyone who opposed them.
Now we have the Muslims. On the surface, Muslims seem cold, aloof, apart, humorless and even somewhat sinister. They have a very bad record around the world for anarchism, murder and assassination. But they also have a very high percentage of Muslim-Americans who are wonderful citizens, have brilliant and solid families, who contribute mightily to this country. If they were not Muslim, we would all despair if almost any one of them left this country. We need all the good citizens we can muster.
But the Nazis would have had a field day with the Muslims. They would use them to create fear. Then they would lock them up. (We still have prisoners in Guantanamo.) The Nazis would have invented some new outrage every day to use to put Muslim-Americans into concentration camps. As far as today’s Neocons, can anyone imagine the unstable Glenn Beck, calling on his demented listeners for something like this right now?
Fear is a weapon. And the Neocons use it every day in every part of the country. Fear is not the only thing we have to fear. But it is time that we began to fear the right things: lack of jobs, lack of a place to live, lack of Social Security and Medicare (which Neocons want to privatize entirely) and lack of real freedom.
That’s right, we have no fear of losing our true freedoms…free speech, freedom of religion, freedom from harm or confiscation of our property, freedom from unjust trial and conviction. Not from a Democratic administration.
But we should fear opposing Neocon forces that want to do away with our Constitution, go to war at the drop of a hat, spy on citizens, imprison people for years without charges, control the laws of media ownership so that only one side of the political message reaches the ignorant. We must fear the election of representatives who will use specific ethnic groups, that may temporarily be unpopular, like Hispanics or Arabs, to take away the civil rights of all Americans.
We must fight for true freedom, not the undefined, propagandist, non-existent problem of losing their “freedom” about which the Tea Party fools and their agitators, the Corporate Neocons complain.
But be assured of one thing. The Corporate-sponsored (as Target recently sponsored Republican governors) Neocons will take away your real Bill of Rights in a heart beat if they ever come to power again. That we should…and must…fear.