The piece below by the Coalition’s Bruce Abramson was originally published by Newsmax.com.
America has become a deeply risk-averse, and concurrently, fear-based society.
Our national policies, politics, advertising, and actions reek of fear and warnings of danger (of those present, and those ahead).
The loud and clear message is to avert (real and/or imagined) dangers at all costs.
Joe Biden is the bona fide leader in this regard.
Consider the vast differences between Barack Obama and Joe Biden — two close political allies. For the sake of this comparison, personal opinions of either man, of their presidencies, or of their performance are irrelevant. All that matters is how they see themselves and how they choose to portray themselves to the American people.
Obama exuded unbridled optimism. His 2008 “hope and change” campaign painted a bright picture of the future. His fervent supporters saw him as he wanted to be seen: an enlightened step on our evolutionary path toward a just and uplifted society.
Even those of us who were not taken in by his charms conceded that he had many. Obama called upon Americans to share his vision of a glorious future. Many responded to his call.
Not so Joe Biden. Biden arose in 2020 to feed America’s fears. Today, when he boasts of his greatest achievements, they are invariably of disasters averted rather than of benefits attained. In the space of twelve years the Democrats went from promising a bright American future to being our final defense against descent into the gates of hell.
In Biden’s telling, were it not for his efforts: Millions more Americans would have died of COVID, Russia would have conquered Eastern Europe, and the world would stand on the brink of climate-driven annihilation.
He has quelled an insurrection, stopped the ascent of fascism, and played a solid defense against those seeking to impoverish seniors while enslaving women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community. He has saved us from the perfidies of a virus, climate despoilers, Russians, and Republicans.
That many Americans resonate with this message is testament to our descent into a fear society. That descent is evident everywhere.
Consider the arc of the now-ubiquitous pharmaceutical commercials: You may be suffering from, or at risk of, some condition. Left untreated, it can only get worse — bringing harm to you and to those close to you. But don’t worry! Our product can help.
Move on to the ads for lawyers or insurance. Those also follow a predictable arc: Has something bad happened to you? Is something bad happening to you right now? Have you considered this bad thing that often happens to people just like you? Scary, isn’t it? But don’t worry! We can make someone else pay for your suffering.
Even seemingly benign products market through subtle fear. Do you have any idea how many Americans can’t function because they don’t sleep properly? Our pillows and sheets can help. Worried about flood damage or high heating bills? Those concerns plague people who haven’t installed our storm windows.
The adage driving American advertising used to be “sex sells.” Today’s adage is “fear sells better.”
“Better safe than sorry” has overtaken American life. Parents risk arrest for child neglect for giving their children the freedom to roam around their own neighborhoods — not to mention using a scooter without protective gear.
Our collective response to COVID was to cower and hide from the virus at all costs. It’s important to recall that when the COVID emergency was first declared, and even when we shut down the country for “two weeks to flatten the curve,” there was little death and no public health problem.
All that we had were reports and photos from China, then from Italy, and a statistical model of unknown validity from Imperial College in the U.K.
Yet there was, at the time, a very real emergency. There was a widespread fear that if we didn’t do something drastic, we might soon find ourselves facing a public health emergency. We did not unravel the fabric of our society because of COVID; we did so because of our fear of COVID.
Fear societies provide fertile ground for dictators promising safety. Climate alarmists —from the World Economic Forum on down — are already touting the global response to COVID fears as a model for the future.
They’re eager to take even more drastic actions to protect us — not from current environmental challenges, but from the fear that the climate will become catastrophic. Only they and their benign-though-authoritarian services can save us from the fear that they themselves have instilled.
Joe Biden has been an excellent president for a fear-driven America. Whatever difficulties we may face, they remain livable. He has saved us from multiple fates far worse!
Those of us who prefer a life of freedom and risk to one of subservience and safety have a tough case to sell to a fearful, risk-averse country.