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Fear-based threats to our freedoms

John Whitehead
Published: Thursday, October 11th, 2012

“Fear is the foundation of most governments.” – John Adams
Turn on the TV or flip open the newspaper on any given day, and you will find yourself accosted by reports of government corruption, corporate malfeasance, militarized police and marauding SWAT teams. America is entering a new phase, one in which children are arrested in schools, military veterans are forcibly detained by government agents because of their Facebook posts and law-abiding Americans are being subjected to government spy technology.
These threats to our freedoms are not to be underestimated. Yet even more dangerous than these violations of our basic rights is the language they are couched in—the language of fear. 
This has given rise to a politics of fear whose only aim is to distract and divide us. We are discouraged from thinking analytically and believing that we have any part to play in solving these problems. Instead, we have been conditioned to point the finger at the other Person or vote for this Politician or support this Group, because they are the ones who will fix it. Except that they can’t and won’t.

“Fear is the foundation of most governments.” – John Adams

Turn on the TV or flip open the newspaper on any given day, and you will find yourself accosted by reports of government corruption, corporate malfeasance, militarized police and marauding SWAT teams. America is entering a new phase, one in which children are arrested in schools, military veterans are forcibly detained by government agents because of their Facebook posts and law-abiding Americans are being subjected to government spy technology.

These threats to our freedoms are not to be underestimated. Yet even more dangerous than these violations of our basic rights is the language they are couched in—the language of fear. 

This has given rise to a politics of fear whose only aim is to distract and divide us. We are discouraged from thinking analytically and believing that we have any part to play in solving these problems. Instead, we have been conditioned to point the finger at the other Person or vote for this Politician or support this Group, because they are the ones who will fix it. Except that they can’t and won’t.

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