According to David Weigel, these are some of the events taken from current science fiction stories. Evidently, the fearmongers amongst us have managed to spread fear all over the place. They started with the "war on terror," "al Qaeda" and "Osama bin Laden," proceeded to "Saddam Hussein" and the "Iraq War," and are now building a feverish fear about "Ahmadinejad" and "Iran."
The fearmongers did such a great job, fear prevails in the escape stories we abosrb.
Still the enthusiasm for war is waning. So the Pentagon comes up with a new bugaboo: Muqtada al-Sadr. The Pentagon says that the big troublemaker in Iraq is this guy, that he is a bigger threat than al-Qaeda. Imagine that: more fearful than al-Qaeda. You MUST be afraid!
For the last 6 years we tended to think of the country as polarized between the Right and the Left. We have been mistaken. The country has been polarized between those who were filled with fear and those who were filled with hope.
The fearful ones favored doing everything to make themselves secure - even at the expense of reducing civil liberties, closing our society, alienating our allies and spending trillions of dollars on military adventures. None of this has anything to do with conservatism. It is nothing but dreadful fear.
The hopeful ones were against the Iraq War and favored diplomacy over militarism. They cherished our civil liberties as the bulwark of our nation, wanted to keep our society open and strongly favored working with our allies to fight al-Qaeda. None of this has anything to do with liberalism.
The hopeful ones were swamped by the fearmongers. But on Election Day, the people burst the dam of fear and began enjoying the cool waters of hope.
What a change in outlook. Now we see that the Constitution is a declaration of hope, that our greatest ideals of freedom are based on hope, that the best form of security is achieved through hope. Hope leads to optimism, the major characteristic of Americans.
Optimism and hope - that's us. Not pessimism and fear. This is clearly demonstrated by taking a trip, as my wife and I did, to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Getting in an out of the airport is no fun. You must arrive a few hours early, wait on line, get your baggage inspected, yourself looked over and endure a tough overall procedure. No fun at all. This is the part driven by pessimism and fear.
However, in Puerto Vallarta, we were able to relax, visit with our son, talk to strangers without worry, and enjoy the beach, the fascinating "malacon" (boardwalk), the swimming pool, the restaurants and other events. Yes, it was tough at the airports, but it was worth it for the fun we experienced.
Fear spoils everything. You can't think straight. You have difficulty accomplishing your goals. You will become more and more despondent, more and more despairing. Chuck it all in favor of hope.
The 6 years of foolish fear are over. The hopeful leaders, not the fearful ones, are in charge.