From the time the second plane flew into The Tower on 9/11….America has been a nation gripped and ruled by fear. Fear that has been amplified, played on, exploited and GREATLY embellished by the Bush Administration. Not a rational, healthy fear, but a deep visceral mostly unreasoned fear. The type of fear that is a window into our national character, that has stripped away the veneer of America as the land of the free and the home of the brave, a beacon of human rights, a benevolent Superpower…..and exposed our dark underbelly. Exposed us not as a nation based on ideals, based on a Constitution….based on being the cowboy in the white hat. It has shown us to be a fearful, paranoid, and easily misled people. A people capable of making horrendous mistakes…and then trying to deny them, cover them up, to pretend that we are still the good guys. To preserve an almost delusionally positive American self-image ….that we have instead, while cowering in shamelessly exaggerated fear… allowed the worst of us to throw onto the trash heap.
This blatant campaign of fear, this campaign of Domestic Terror, has elevated and exposed the worst of us, the worst of our press, the worst of our politicians, the worst of our military, the worst of our corporatocracy, the worst of our xenophobia. It has shown a glaring light on nearly all that is wrong with America. From the grand scale of a willingness to invade a country based on lies and rumors just to ease our fears, to our willingness to torture merely to “send a message,” to a willingnesses to profit from the deaths of others….all the way down to revealing the gullibility and lack of critical thinking of the average American when confronted by fear….fear deliberately engineered to reach to the deepest part of the brain and the belly.
From the lies that led us to war to the lie of the color coded terror alert system to the lies that continue today, such as being told we need to be spied upon by our government to keep us safe…America has been submitted to an organized campaign of propaganda. And in response, America has submitted and accustomed itself to living in fear.
Nearly seven years ago we were attacked. Attacked by a small band of suicidal men from a small organization whose aim it was to terrorize America. Thanks to the predatory political nature, the greed, and the outright lust for power of Bushco….they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
Those who would control us through our fears, who would cultivate and exacerbate and heighten our paranoia and our xenophobia have also succeeded, on must think, beyond their wildest dreams as well. They have held America in the thrall of the fear of the dark-skinned other, the fear of being called “anti-patriotic” and the fear of retribution from th most rabid ad jingoistic of their followers
Has America started to throw off this mantle of fear?
There are signs and portents, there are gut feelings…..there is hope.
My hopes for Obama do not extend much beyond his ending the worst of the fear.
Anything else is a bonus. But as I have said, things have gotten so bad under Bush that merely stopping the slide and reversing the mindset of unreasoning fear that has been imposed upon America for seven years will be tantamount to a minor Revolution. If the America people can throw off the mantle of fear, not respond to the same old fears that McCain will try his best to evoke and foster….and replace that with even a small portion of “Yes we can,” that will be a true Revolution.
This would be…WILL be…America choosing a different future, choosing a new kind of world, choosing a different reality. A reality that Obama has been smart enough and lucky enough to tap into. Obama, as he himself says, is not the answer, WE are.
The question is, after seven years of cowering in a cave, how do we emerge back into the sunlight….and what will we choose to do when we get there?