Recently I mentioned a few gloom and doom articles on my family Facebook wall. I followed it all up with a rather negative assessment of the world situation.
In reply, one of my Facebook friends wrote in an exasperated tone:
“I feel like everyone is losing their minds, truly… What in the hell is everyone so scared of? [[[[FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR]]]] ……. :/ “
Here’s my reply:
“Awareness is not fear. Information is not fearful. An opinion is not fear-mongering. A book cannot create fear (so much so as to need banning). Fear is a choice, a response. Blaming others for [[[[FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR]]]] paints them into controllers of people’s emotional states and thus needing to be controlled for the welfare of all — never a good path to follow logically or socially.”
This back and forth reminded me of my earlier post on the boys in California who wore shirts with American Flags to school on Cinco de Mayo.
In both cases, one person or group is blamed for causing a negative emotional response in another person or group. By claiming the victim role and blaming others, we negate personal responsibility. When this happens, a power and control vacuum is created. Who will come in and save us? Who will make sure everyone plays nice? Who will make sure no feathers get ruffled?
This country was founded on several rights, one of which is free speech. It came with a citizenry who understood personal responsibility and could argue and debate with fervor. Writers of the freedoms deemed them important because up until that time in history, those in power controlled with a heavy hand and the arrogance of class superiority.
Once Americans had the right to speak their mind, specifically on politics and policies, power moved more into the hands of We The People. It was guarded for generations because citizens valued it enough to remain politically educated, alert, and self-controlled.
But now, it seems a talk radio host, a boy in a t-shirt, or a Tea Party sign carrier can threaten the stable fabric of our nation by inciting or causing others to act out.
If something I write or say has the power to control you, then two things — both destructive to a free society — must follow:
1) I will need to be controlled to prevent me from harming you.
2) You will need someone to watch over you because you can’t control yourself.
The result will be Big Brother “helping” us get along and a reduction in liberty.
Am I wrong?