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The Fourth, fear and the control

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Published on: Wednesday, July 03, 2013

By Brian J. Karem

Fear, it seems is the dominating force in most everyone’s life. The big picture tells us we’re afraid of the unknown. Books have been written and movies produced about this idea.

But it’s not just fear of alien invasion or the Zombie Apocalypse which drives us.

It’s the daily mundane fears.

It’s the fear of losing a job, the fear of sudden death, the fear of losing a loved one or a multitude of other fears running through your mind on a daily basis which is the basis for many decisions we all make.

Bottom line, we fear for our safety.

But 237 years ago this country threw caution, fear and its own safety to the wind and declared itself free from England.

This move lead to a protracted war, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and ultimately the U.S. Constitution.

When we put aside our fear and tackled the problem at hand just look at what we were able to accomplish. Time and again our history shows as we conquer our fear, we can conquer anything.

Franklin D. Roosevelt told us we had nothing to fear but fear itself.

When John F. Kennedy challenged us to get to the moon within a decade, this country put aside the fear of the unknown and landed on the moon – despite losing three astronauts in a deadly fire on the launch pad less than two years before the deadline.

In short, we can accomplish anything.

But today our fear rules us.

As we celebrate our revolution, it would be nice to see some of that revolutionary spirit begin to take root and thrive.

Instead we are a brittle, fearful nation.

The bombing of the Twin Towers, those hapless, hopeless souls dying on airplanes as terrorists took their own lives and crashed them into our building, have driven home the notion that we can do nothing to fight the terror – except to give up what we hold dear.

We sit quietly in our hotels, our homes and our places of employment as police search the countryside for a 19-year-old suspected terrorist.

Domestic terrorism and mass shootings have driven home the fear or our neighbor, our fear of guns, and our fear of death.

Though former President Jimmy Carter tells us the American Public has a right to know what its government is doing, we are willing to search the world for Edward Snowden because he decided to face his fear and show us exactly what we allow our government to do: spy on us.

Time after time we are shown how far we have strayed from the intent of the founding fathers and we have seen into the abyss and embraced it.

Our fear dominates us.

The thing that scares us most isn’t the lack of freedom or a government run amuck with power – it is, rather, the fear that we may not be safe.

This fear dominates every single decision made in government today.

It is not to say there are Hitlers or Caesars running loose in government snatching power for their own nefarious reasons. It is, however, a fact that when governments become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute a new government which derives its power from the consent of the governed.

So what does it say when the governed gives its consent to the loss of freedom for the hope of safety?

While there are few who would argue there are megalomaniacs running loose in the government today, there is absolutely no insurance that such a megalomaniac could surface tomorrow.

With the imminent destruction of our Constitutional rights facing us in the face, it would be too easy for someone with nefarious tendencies to smile and tell us all is well while they plot something wicked that will surely this way come.

At the end of the day fear is something we’d better learn to conquer or we will be the ones conquered by our fear.

That, I fear, may be our fate.

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