Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Monday, July 28, 2008

On Republican Fear

Why do those who call themselves "conservative" harbor so much fear?

I remember one member of our church where I did my internship who was very conservative. My intern supervisor described him as "a very fearful man." That was true. He was afraid of people who were different, afraid of the government, afraid of foreigners who received American foreign aid. Other than that, he was a good man.

I've noticed since then that fear is the driving emotion of the conservative movement. Jesse Helms made his career exploiting people's fears of blacks, Communists, gays, etc. Every campaign ad (with maybe one exception) slammed whoever was running against him as "too liberal"--exploiting people's fears of that bugaboo that Ronald Reagan came to power denouncing.

Now, "liberal" has become a dirty word, so much so that those who agree with liberal ideals and ideas call themselves "progressive" instead. Of course, this kind of name-calling is a short cut past the thought process, but that doesn't lessen the use of fear in the language people use.

They are afraid of "terrorists." This has taken over from "anarchists" whom Nixon demonized to exploit fear once "Communist" lost its luster as a bogeyman. So now they allow the government whom they claim is totally incompetent to run anything from health care to disaster relief to have total access to every secret of their lives. "Take my rights, take my liberties, take everything my ancestors fought and died for. Just don't let the bad guys hit me again."

A friend of mine said he was going to vote for whoever will keep this country safe. I said I was going to vote for whoever would restore the Constitution. I fear neither one of us will be able to do so. In the name of "national security" the Bush enablers have made us less safe, and in the name of the Constitution, the Democrats have buried the Fourth Amendment.

But I, as a proud, patriotic American refuse to be done in by other people's fear. I will not submit to threats of what terrorists may do if I stand up for my inalienable rights and God-ordained freedom. I will not yield my Constitutional rights. You can take my Constitution "from my cold, dead hands!"

True American patriots won't go down without a fight. That doesn't mean I'll take up arms in an insurrection, but I will express myself here on this blog, and in letters to the editor. We need more Thomas Paines, and I want to do my part to carry on his tradition.

Please join me.


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