s there anyone else out there in our great nation who is sick and tired of being afraid? Webster defines fear as being, “an unpleasant strong emotion caused by expectation or awareness of danger.”
Ever since 9/11 there has been a vale of fear surrounding us all. Even though we are the most powerful nation on the planet we are still afraid what happened will happen again. What I know about 9/11 was we let our guard down against a group of people who want to hurt us. Throughout our history there have been many groups of people and many countries that wanted to hurt us.
In the past when this happened we did not hide our faces or hide behind closed doors. We stood up to this danger and showed the world we were not afraid of anything. Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt were leaders who rallied their countrymen to stand up to any threat by not fearing but rather defeating it.
Today the possibility of attack seems to be on everyone’s mind. Probably because of the news media and our government who continually tell us we will be attacked again. Even though we spend billions of dollars for homeland security the concept of fear and being attacked is perpetually on our minds.
In the past I never locked any of my doors. In fact, years ago I never had a key to my home. I understand I live in a very secure area but ever since the attack I find myself making sure all the doors of my house are locked before I go to bed or even after I settle down for the night. Every time I do this I wonder what it is I am afraid of.
I believe the saddest part of my generation of fear is the attack on our Constitution. For my entire life this has been a document that defined our nation and our people. In my lifetime there have been few changes to this document and when there was it gave people more freedoms. The changes never took freedoms away.
Today our nation’s Constitution is under attack in the name of keeping us safe. Both Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin warned us when our nation was brand new. They taught us not to let fear change what we believed in. They explained we can’t protect our society by taking its freedoms away.
In fact, fear of foreign attack has given birth to fear of societal change. Gay marriage and the LGBTQ Movement have been large topics ever since the 9/11 attacks. It seems our government equates the legality of these lifestyles as an assault on our society.
They tell us that this social system will destroy the concept of marriage and family. I never understood this fear because if someone decides to live a lifestyle that does not affect my family why would anyone even contemplate a Constitutional change?
I hope there are many people in our nation who are sick and tired of being afraid, being told to be afraid, and told the only way we can keep our nation safe is to take our freedoms away. The one quote that both terrified and surprised me was:
“…..it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…..
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to the danger. “
This quote was not by one of our present leaders or the leaders of our past. It was by Herman Goering (1893-1946) German Commander-In-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia, at the Nuremberg Trials before he was sentenced to death.
The more I think about it the more I realize we do have something to be afraid of and it has nothing to do with foreign terrorists.
By Jim Fabiano.
Jim Fabiano, a teacher and writer who lives in York, is a past recipient of the Maine Press Association’s award for Best Weekly Column.
You can E-mail Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org