It’s All About the Fear

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

The DHS National Terrorism Advisory Service bulletin was released early this month. According to the bulletin, the number one terroristic threat to American is “the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. Government institutions.”    In other words, anyone who dares to tell the truth about the government’s very real history of victimizing its own citizens, or calls attention to the unconstitutional activities perpetrated by the ruling elite will now be treated as a terrorist. 

To take away your most basic civil liberties, overzealous governments rely on your fear. They cultivate, stoke, and stimulate it. Then they demand new powers to fight it.  The War on Drugs brought us militarized police, no-knock warrants, and civil asset forfeiture.  The War on Terror gave us the Patriot Act and government surveillance and prying into the lives of every day American citizens. The War against a virus suspended the 1st Amendment in its entirety and forced Americans into lockdowns, masks and vaccine mandates, all in my opinion, illegal under the Constitution.

But, as the government has discovered, a population clamoring to be kept safe can be persuaded that some of its freedoms, even the most cherished ones, must be suspended until the danger passes.   Sure, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Amendments were eviscerated in the process but……!

With Homeland Securities bulletin, we are being set up to see free speech as a public health threat, just like drugs and terrorism, to justify a coming “war” and new government powers to fight it.  The Surgeon General has also concluded that “the only way we get past misinformation is if we are careful about what we say to use the power that we have to limit the spread of misinformation.” 

Trust me; the War on Misinformation is coming.

Framing knowledge like an illicit substance equates other people’s free speech with a threat to your health or safety, turning podcasters into drug dealers or suicide bombers.  If we fear those people enough, the government knows we’ll happily sell our freedom for an unrealistic shred of security.

In our fear we are poorly equipped to envision the unintended consequences.   If a small business owners being robbed of their life savings in a traffic stop angers you, please understand that the people who wanted to stop the drug trade didn’t image that innocent people would be robbed of their assets.   Well-intentioned crusaders for mandatory smallpox vaccinations didn’t dream that power would be used to force sterilization on poor people.  

Government endangers us and does not deserve our trust.  This very article, challenging as it does the trustworthiness of government institutions and actions puts me is the cross-hairs of the Department of Homeland Security.  Just reading this article may do the same for you.    

The hobgoblins that alarm us are cultivated so that our fear can be exploited for power, money and control.  Government will never address the true threats to this country, nor stop encouraging you to live in fear because it is your fear that gives them power.

You can read Laura Williams’ article, Its Always About Fear, published at the AIER, in its entirety as this link.

Source:  Summary of Terrorism Threat to the U.S. Homeland, the Department of Homeland Security, February 7, 2022

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