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Freedom Over Fear

By the time I was in high school, my step-father had been a cigarette smoker for decades. For years beforehand, both my brother and I had tried motivating him to quit smoking by pointing out things like the health benefits or the financial gains associated with quitting. Nothing worked until close to the end of my senior year when a doctor told him that if he didn't stop smoking, he would be dead in six months. He quit, cold turkey, and lived for almost 20 more years. He reaped the benefits of quitting smoking, but he wasn't motivated by anything to quit smoking until he was afraid of what would happen if he didn't.

"Fear" is a great motivator; probably one of the best motivators. If you think about it, most people will do more to avoid something that they fear than they will do to achieve something that they want.

"You may be right; it's all a waste of time. I guess that's just a chance I'm prepared to take, a danger I'm prepared to face."


Facts Don't Matter to Fearful People

A March 2020 poll of Americans with 3000 respondents across the country showed a strong bipartisan support for criminalizing speech that they didn't like. About 70% of those surveyed supported government "restricting people's ability to say things" deemed misinformation (without expressing or even defining what that 'misinformation' might be). Nearly 80% endorsed the conscription (i.e., the state-mandated enforced enlistment of people into a national service, typically a military service; a 'draft') of health care professionals to fight COVID-19 despite greater risks to the health of those professionals. Government seizure of businesses and property was supported by 58% and over 70% supported the detention of COVID-19 patients in government facilities. The majority surveyed did not change their opinion even when told that their views might violate the Constitutional rights of American citizens. But the facts didn't matter; they only cared about assuaging their fears.

American culture has become one based in fear. The majority of the population operates out of that one emotion, and most of them don't even know it. They are afraid not only of what people say, but how they say it, especially if what is being said is something with which they disagree. They are afraid of someone -- anyone (except the government) -- taking what they believe is theirs. They're afraid of anyone who is not "us", or those within their sphere, having too much freedom. And the vast majority of them appear to be compliant, even eager, to allow violations of our own civil rights out of that fear.

“Faced with a choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.” - John Kenneth Galbraith


Old Party Politicians are Turning Americans into Cowards

"I'm old enough not to care to much about what you think about me, but I'm young enough to remember the future and the way things ought to be."

Old Party politicians are often complicit in fear-mongering; preying on the fears of Americans and turning those fears into outright cowardice in order to retain their power, and it's really not difficult to see why they do. They know that by stoking the voters' fears on any number of topics (e.g., illegal immigration, gun control, cannabis legalization, school subject matter, etc.), voters will often only choose from the options that they are given (even if those options may be counter-intuitive) just to assuage their fear. 

A popular movie from before the turn of the century pointed out that a political candidate only needs to do two things in order to win an election; make you afraid of "it", and tell you who's to blame for "it". The candidate who does that best is usually the one who wins. I have no doubt that my opponents will be doing exactly that (in a number of subtle ways) as we approach November, both to me and to each other.

And that's another way my candidacy is different; I won't prey on your fears, but I WILL point out when they are doing exactly that.

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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