Letter: Be strong, do not fear!

Posted 9/17/21

To the editor: 

We shouldn't underestimate the wisdom found in stories we were told when we were children. Take for instance "Chicken Little." In the story, Chicken Little runs around in …

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Letter: Be strong, do not fear!


To the editor: 

We shouldn't underestimate the wisdom found in stories we were told when we were children. Take for instance "Chicken Little." In the story, Chicken Little runs around in hysterics proclaiming the sky is falling. As she spreads fear, other animals join her in spreading the panic. It ends with a sly and devious fox who seizes its opportunity and lures the animals into its den, never to be seen again. The story illustrates the terrible influence fear can have on otherwise rational people. When fear and panic set in, people become weak, and their ability to access higher-level thinking, which is necessary for reasoning, is compromised. Emotions dominate the thought process, and all too frequently, morality will fall victim to the overwhelming desire for safety. People are then ready to thoughtlessly comply to nearly any demand that is given, in such a state, they have become dangerous. 

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken. 

If you notice, fear-mongering seems to come in waves: overpopulation, global warming, police hunting down and killing people, pandemics, then back to global warming 2.0, aka, climate change, etc. What is interesting about such "waves of fear" is that at the time, we are told that they are the absolute, most important issue at hand; they are all existential crises. But sooner or later, if we wait long enough, they will no longer be useful, and so will disappear from the peddled narrative only to be replaced by something else. It's as if they think we are not paying attention and do not recognize the "bait and switch," swapping one boogeyman for another. Given people’s declining attention spans and the increasingly Brave New World’ish type society that we find ourselves in, where people are willingly and blissfully distracted from the realities of the world, then perhaps they are right, people won’t notice. 

And so the incessant, fear ladened propaganda continues: World will end in 12 years, overpopulation, guns, germs, dodgeball… lions and tigers and bears. Oh my! Be scared! The frightened people, now disarmed of reason, will be willing to bear almost any cost for safety. Loss of freedom? Small price to pay when the end is nigh. I am listening, tell me what to do! It doesn't matter how illogical it is. It doesn't matter if the rule givers ignore their own rules; they weren't meant for them anyway. Please, SAVE ME! Eventually, as tyranny grows, it becomes the norm, and many will accept it. If you have any doubts, take a look at what is happening in the world. Forced vaccinations, mandatory masking, quarantine camps, can't drink outside, can't talk outside, can't go outside; unless, of course, you are one of the “Elites”. Freedom is under attack, people have been duped, but sadly, I suspect many don’t mind because now they feel safe. 

Fear-mongering is a powerful tool of manipulation, but it will only get tyrants so far. What is needed next is a villain. Ah yes, someone needs to be blamed. A target must be sought, a sacrificial lamb for the righteously indignant masses. And as the morally bankrupt leaders emerge as saviors, waving their scraggly fingers with loud declarations of "It is their fault!" the mindless crowd erupts with thunderous applause! Mass psychosis has taken hold, and the zombie like hordes await their orders. Fear. Blame. Us vs. them. Build the camps, segragate them. For goodness sake, open a history book and look where this can lead. Horror, death, misery,... Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler,... the tactics were used by all of them. To be clear, such division and scapegoating certainly do not guarantee future horrors, but they are necessary ingredients for when they do happen.

And so as we march forward, we must be on guard to the emotionally charged scare tactics employed by the nefarious actors in our world. As tempting as they might be, do not fall for them, do not be played, and do not be afraid to push back. Protect yourself, build your worldview on a solid foundation, live life, think for yourself, question the narrative, speak the truth, be independent, and cherish your freedom, while we still have it. 

Matthew Fletcher



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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.