Most Americans remember a part of Franklin Roosevelt's Depression-era remarks about fear. Yes, he did say in his 1st Inaugural, "The only thing we have to fear is . . . fear itself," but that's not the whole statement. It went this way, "The only thing we have to fear is . . . fear itself . . . nameless, unreasoning fear." The final three words, starting with "nameless," are extremely important.
Granted, there are situations in which fear is appropriate -- for example, if you wake up and see a hungry grizzly bear climbing through your bedroom window. In a case like that, there's nothing unreasonable about fear. (After the initial surge of terror, of course, the most important thing you can do is to calm down and decide -- reason -- quickly about how you're going to get out of the situation. In other words, act like Captain "Sully," not like Nervous Nellie.
Barack Obama has told us that, without his (potentially catastrophic) Stimulus Bill, we will face a financial "catastrophe." How he knows that -- the reasoning part -- remains unclear. So, why did he appeal to one of our primal instincts? Because he knows -- or at least his speech guru Aexlrod knows -- that fear sells. Scare people half to death and many of them will do your bidding.
The last thing Obama wants his audiences to do is have reasoned responses to his rhetoric. When he tells us, for example, that "95% of the American people are going to get a tax cut," he is lying to us. He knows that nearly 50% of American wage earners (and their immediate dependents) don't pay federal income taxes.
When they get their $500 or $1000 "tax cut" from the Treasury -- and yes, Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle who didn't pay their taxes, will get one -- it will not be a tax refund. Instead, it will be a welfare check. In other words, Obama will be putting half the population on what our grandparents used to call the "dole," welfare. As Obama told Joe the Plumber, it's not about stimulus, but rather about "redistribution of wealth."
Why do such a damaging thing? Because Axelrod/Obama know that dependent people are reliable providers of votes in future elections. When the government basically "owns" someone, he or she expresses gratitude by voting for bigger and bigger government. Sadly, though, he or she is no longer a free, independent citizen.
Thus, we have FDR, along with all other great American leaders, arguing against reliance on "nameless, unreasoning fear." In contrast, we have Obama and his minions relying completely on fear because reason isn't on their side. As every tyrant knows, fear is his most powerful ally.
Gov. Sarah Palin's motto is "Serve the people." In contrast, Obama's seems to be: "Scare the people."
In today's difficult times, we will still sing "God bless America." Yet the more appropriate phrase might be "God help America." In fact, God generally blesses our land most abundantly when the vast majority of Americans do everything in their power to help themselves, their families, and their communities.