Dan O’Connor guest column: Trump using fear to get ahead
I have avoided it all this time. About the last thing I would want to do in this column is to give more attention to a megalomaniac individual who craves publicity. I have no intention in advancing the popularity of a wannabe celebrity starring in his own reality show. That is why I have not mentioned the name Trump. Until now that is. Now that he has stepped into the shoes worn by some of the most evil and vicious psychopaths who have blackened the pages of history.
It is not what Donald Trump thinks or personally believes. Those judgments may be quite different to his statements. But by his actions he has intentionally tapped into the fears and anxieties of the masses and heightened them.
Hitler scapegoated the Jews as the cause of all the German’s problems. The results — the Holocaust and World War Two. The Donald just targeted 1.5 billion Muslims.
It was a clever and calculated tactic. It increased his political popularity and following. Sadly, many politicians and media commenters are riding on his coattails. The populous, more than eager for someone to blame, are eating it up.
Just when we start to think society may be becoming somewhat enlightened, some fool yells “Get a rope”. A slew of dumb followers line up clamoring for the witch hunts, hangings and burnings. Their white knight prince has finally arrived. Their savior proudly stands before them mounted on his white horse.
Well is it true? Are there evil Muslim terrorists? Of course. Are there evil Catholic, Protestant and Jewish terrorists? Sure. Then what percentage of each religion, race or country could be considered truly evil? That is something we should take a good look at.
To start with, the term “terrorist” is a very controversial label. It could also be viewed as “freedom fighter,” “Rebel” or “patriot” depending on one’s viewpoint. A terrorist today is usually looked at as someone opposed to the government in power, regardless of how corrupt and repressive it may be.
A better term might just be “evil.” Those who murder innocent civilian men, women and children in cold blood could be so labeled. We know they exist. Otherwise we would not need police, courts and prisons. Thankfully however they are in a very small minority of the population.
I can say this by the ratio of police to citizens. It is well known that if there were more than 1 or 1.5 percent of the population committing crimes then the police forces would be completely overwhelmed.
I see the vast majority of people as peaceful and law abiding. They do not need to be policed, controlled and kept under constant surveillance. They know right from wrong and are reasonably responsible citizens.
You probably remember when you were in school where one kid misbehaved and the teacher disciplined the entire class. That is pretty much how the government handles justice and security.
Remember the U.S. government declared war on poverty and later a war on drugs. These actions resulted in much more poverty and far more drugs. President Bush declared a war on terrorism. Will the results be different this time?
The word terrorism is a verb implying an action such the use of force to cause fear and anxiety. Should that include waging war, bombing and drone attacks?
Many who crave power consider fear a handy tool. A population in fear is far more compliant and manageable especially when promised security and protection.
Are we creating the same conditions, the same monsters we are supposed to be fighting? Are we being ushered more so into it by one man who wants to be our leader?
So should we all hail our soon to be new leader?
What is the German word for leader?… Oh yes. Furor!
Dan O’Connor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org