June 22, 2003

Land of the Brave

Where once Americans were rugged individualists, risk takers who opened new frontiers, now they are a nation paralyzed by fear. What then happens when the fear expands to diminish economic risk-taking, erecting citadel walls as opposed to monuments dedicated to capitalism? Wallin offered this thought provoking paradoxical question: How do you stop the spiral of fear when you declare war against an unsolvable problem?

That's from ark Federman's What is The Message?. He's writing about a talk by Pamela Wallin Canada's Counsel-General in New York. And it drives home a point that has been pretty obvious to many of us since 9-11, that the Bush administration is having its way with America by filling them with fear. And the news media is all to willing to go along, its no secret that fear sells.

As we've noted before, Jim Moore has been dealing with different ways for the left and the Democrats to rebuild their image and strategy "for the new year" as they say. "Respect" and "Choice" are what he's put forward so far as "political touchstones". I've got another one to add to the list. An old one actually. Bravery. Bravery as in the opposite of fear. You know as is, "land of the free, home of the brave".

Now conservatives have long coopted the word bravery, but lets not forget that it was FDR who said "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself". And every time I see Bush on TV all I can see is the fear in his eyes. Now some people might construe invading Iraq as an act of bravery, but the truth is beating up on a crippled nation is an act worthy only of a scared bully. And shit, September 11th was fucking scary, I once worked on the 60th floor, believe me I know.

There are a lot of ways animals deal with fear. They lash out irrationally (Afghanistan? Iraq?), They ignore their opponents (Remember Bin Laden, seen him on the news much lately?), They make a lot of noise (WMD?), and curl up in balls (sure are making a lot of friends in Europe aren't we?) and throw on protective armor (missile shields that don't work?). September 9-11 scared us as a nation. And the Bush administration saw just how effective that fear was at furthering their goals and are now determined to keep us scared. More then that many of the administration members are naturally scared and paranoid (Cheney anyone?).

Who wants to live in fear? I sure don't and I'm damn sick of a government that continues to push it upon us. More then that I think its a major key to any successful attempt by the Democrats to get Bush out of the White House next year. Every time I see Bush I see the deep fear in his eyes, and I want a presidential candidate brave enough to point out that fear to the nation. Bush is afraid of something, and paranoid to boot. Its about time he get pushed on it. He maybe a liar, but going after people for lying isn't a great tactic. Its your word verse theirs, and Bush is great at getting people to trust him and his downhomeness. Going after people's paranoia is another matter, it tends to be self reinforcing. Especially given how hard Bush is bound to be running from any debates with the Democratic candidate. Scared to debate. Sacred to fix the economy. Scared to tell the American people the truth. That's our Bush. Its time for bravery, its time for a Democrat in the White House.

Posted by Abe at June 22, 2003 11:00 PM


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