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  • Writer's pictureJim Donaher

Fear Drives Everything

As an observer of how the world and societies are evolving, it occurs to me that fear seems to be stirring much more attention than it's opposite, love.

Notice the messages that come from advertising. The call to action always includes some veiled threat - that you'll have embarrassingly horrible breath or body odor; that your friends and neighbors are doing better than you; that if you're not young and sexy, there really isn't anything worthwhile for you to contribute. These threats, whether subtle or overt, spur us to action. Usually, to buy something.

Love, in advertising, is rarely a point.

Congressman Pennywise is coming to take your health care...

When politics are involved, the threats and scare tactics are rarely subtle. An unflattering picture of an opponent, dark, scary music, a grim, funereal narrator explaining some horrible thing this person has done to you and your family. How they are ruining your life while making someone else - or themselves - rich, powerful, enabled. And how they will do worse if you elect them.

Both Republicans and Democrats have one or two issues that they hope will mobilize their voters to show up and do what they can to save humanity. But at the basis of this is always a blatant threat posed by the other guys. "Don't vote for me for my policies, vote for me because that other guy is a _______." Fill in the blank. A fascist. A Nazi. A socialist. A pedophile. A narcissist.

They want to save us from immigrants, racist immigrants, pedophile immigrants. From fascist, jack-booted Nazi thugs. From China, Russia, Iran, North Korea. From the gay mafia. From the far-right militias. From voter fraud. From George Soros or Peter Thiel. From guns. From pronouns. From Hollywood communists. From Antifa and Black Lives Matter. From the news media. From the public-school groomers 'trying to make your kid gay. From 'them'.

If there is a problem, or just seems to be, it's not us, it's 'them.' Always.

What you don't see - ever - is someone who simply runs because they believe they can do good things for people.

  • They have ideas they believe will solve problems and make lives better.

  • They are a good person, not perfect, not without flaw.

  • They are a diligent worker who will represent all the people.

  • They have good character and will make difficult decisions based on "what is best."

  • They don't blame others when they do something wrong or make a mistake.

  • They know the truth and they tell it, whether it helps or hurts them.

  • They are tough, but kind. It is possible to defend oneself without being a jerk.

  • They have, and regularly display, character, humility, and integrity.

  • They are smart, cool, and calm and will think on their feet.

  • They take down bullies without becoming one themselves.

  • They are any race, nationality, gender, faith, sexual orientation. For the silent majority of fair-minded people, it makes no difference. All that matters is their overwhelming sense of competence, humility, and integrity.

  • Their party affiliation doesn't matter because there will be aspects of this person that will attract and annoy both parties. And that's good.

  • They are someone whom you'd be proud to have your kids emulate. Not because they're always right, but that they always try to do the right thing.

They may, or they may not be Christians. But whether they are followers of Jesus Christ or not, they embrace the ideals that He taught, even if they don't label them as such. One does not need to be a Christian to help the poor. Or to welcome the stranger. Or feed the hungry. Or love other people. Or be a champion for the oppressed. Or show compassion.

These behaviors and attitudes are what Jesus taught. He encourages us to follow His teaching, even if we have not become Christians.

Because if this hypothetical person/candidate were to be elected, to any office, they would serve with love, compassion, respect, humility, integrity, honesty, and decency. And if that ever caught on, what a world we would have!



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