Hope and Change Morphed Into Fear and Loathing

ob01Welcome to America in 2013, where Hope and Change have transmogrified into Fear and Loathing, where even a liberal reporter who last year praised Obama as “one of the most talented politicians around” could not resist the pervasive paranoia inspired by what voters were once promised would be “the most transparent administration in history.”

Between the IRS secretly punishing the president’s political enemies, the Justice Department secretly seizing reporters’ phone records and the NSA’s secret surveillance, the only thing transparent about this administration is its dishonest hypocrisy.

Robert S. McCain of the American Spectator writes that scarcely had the charred remains of Michael Hastings been pried out of the wreckage of his Mercedes-Benz than conspiracy theorists began to suggest that the award-winning journalist’s fiery death was not an accident. Within 12 hours, it was reported that Hastings had told a lawyer before Tuesday’s fatal crash in Los Angeles that he was under investigation by the FBI. His friends soon confirmed that Hastings had been “paranoid…  incredibly tense and very worried” about government surveillance, and the fevered imaginations of the kook fringe cooked up all sorts of wild-eyed claims: Hastings had been“murdered” or “assassinated” by a “car bomb,” perhaps by the CIA.

Driving a turbocharged sports coupe at top speed head-on into a palm tree requires no conspiracy theory to explain why the Mercedes C250 exploded into flames. What does need to be explained is why Hastings was hurtling southbound on Highland Avenue so fast that, when a video camera captured him running a red light about 4:15 a.m., his car was just a silver blur.

Where had Hastings been all night and where was he going in the wee hours of a Tuesday morning? Is it possible that Hastings was driving so fast because he believed he was being pursued by agents of “Obama’s national security state” against which he warned in his final article published at BuzzFeed Politics?   “Transparency supporters, whistleblowers, and investigative reporters … have been viciously attacked by the Obama administration and its allies in the FBI and DOJ,” Hastings wrote, denouncing “Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties.”

Hastings was “a liberal who shared the anti-war, anti-Republican sentiments widespread in his generation of journalists.” He was however,  at least honest about his bias, as opposed to the allegedly objective reporters who cover politics.  Most of the young journalists who followed Mitt Romney around on the campaign trail  may as well have been paid members of Obama’s campaign staff, given their intense commitment to helping defeat the Republican.

Journalists have always been predominantly liberal, but recent years have seen an influx of young writers like Hastings who came of age in the anti-war campus cauldrons of the Bush-era, and to them the GOP is an enemy more dangerous than any foreign dictator or Islamic terrorist.  Having crusaded to spare the nation of another Republican presidency, young liberal writers like Michael Hastings seemed genuinely shocked by recent revelations of the Nixonian nature of the regime they did so much to help re-elect. 

Last Thursday, officials in Los Angeles finally identified Hastings’remains and said there was no reason to suspect foul play.  So maybe his worries about being under federal investigation were just symptoms of his own  psychological stress, rather than symptoms of “Obama’s national security state.” 

Having lost Hope, it seems, Michael Hastings was overtaken by Fear. He descended into paranoia and, while it’s easy to laugh at conspiratorial talk of his “assassination,” no one can say the Fear was more irrational than the Hope.

Is it remotely possibly that Hasting’s death was caused by the government?  Anything is possible!  And with what we have in power, I could easily accept the fact that they are willing to kill off their opponents.   

But in this instance, I think Hasting’s undoing was caused by basing his faith in a person and on an agenda steeped in lies.  

“If we bring not the good courage of minds covetous of truth, and truth only,  prepared to hear all things, and decide upon all things, according to evidence,  we should do more wisely to sit down contented in ignorance, than to bestir  ourselves only to reap disappointment.”  Frances Wright




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