It’s impossible to read or watch much about politics in America that doesn’t involve fear. I do not suspect that this is unique or limited to our political process. And it seems that with each passing week, the level and volume of the messengers of fear are escalating as they all try to outdo one another. Political strategists will describe them as ‘appealing to their base’ supporters. I see it as appealing to the ‘base’ in their supporters.
In business, the cliché is: “Sex sells”. In politics, “Fear moves”.
This much is true.
Fear, however, simply doesn’t move us to the place it promises. Fear tells us that if we follow its path, we will be protected and be at peace.
Fear does not lead to peace. Never has. Never will. It leads to conflict and war. Always has. Always will.
The truth is when we follow the path of fear we will become more distrustful and suspicious, eventually of each other. The focus of our fear may shift but the fear itself only grows. When we’re living in fear, we can never feel protected enough. We can only feel disconnected and in constant turmoil.
Cowards use fear to incite and then hide (and profit) in the chaos of the stampede that follows.
It takes courage to act in trust. It takes courage to choose the path of peace. We would do well to rebuild the trust between us that is our greatest strength.