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John McCain Was Right

by baldilocksJohn-Mccain

I always found the term “fear-​monger” to be a tell about the per­son using it.

A per­son who mon­gers is, using the tra­di­tional def­i­n­i­tion, a dealer or a trader who sells a finite set of com­modi­ties. The sec­ond con­no­ta­tion goes this way:

[the pro­mo­tion of] a spec­i­fied activ­ity, sit­u­a­tion, or feel­ing, espe­cially one that is unde­sir­able or discreditable.

Many recall that Sen­a­tor John McCain (R-​AZ), dur­ing his 2008 cam­paign for the pres­i­dency, (in)famously stated the fol­low­ing at a town­hall meeting:

I want to be pres­i­dent of the United States, and I don’t want Obama to be. But I have to tell you, he is a decent per­son, and a per­son that you do not have to be scared [of] as Pres­i­dent of the United States.

Six years, many vio­la­tions of the US Con­sti­tu­tion, wars, pesti­lence and the rumors thereof later, we find that Sen­a­tor McCain was…right.

The inten­tional actions of the Obama Admin­is­tra­tion pose grave threats to our per­sonal sur­vival and our sur­vival as a nation – but we don’t have to be afraid of them. By that, I mean that we don’t have be par­a­lyzed by fear – the over­whelm­ing sense that there is noth­ing that we can do to thwart our destruction.

A counter-​example: many believe – and I am among this num­ber – that mem­bers of our leg­isla­tive and judi­cial branches are afraid to take mean­ing­ful steps to rein in the exec­u­tive branch. Afraid of what? Only they know for cer­tain. But, assum­ing the belief is cor­rect, that unnamed fear has immo­bi­lized the other two branches. And, as a result, this coun­try has suf­fered out­rage after outrage.

So, Sen­a­tor McCain was cor­rect, though prob­a­bly not in the man­ner he intended.

Back to fear mon­ger­ing, or the alle­ga­tion thereof. When you try to warn some­one of a reasonably-​calculated pos­si­ble dan­ger and that per­son calls you a fear-​monger, she does it in order avoid acknowl­edg­ing her own fear. Acknowl­edg­ing fear is the first step in get­ting past it and act­ing deci­sively in the face of it, armed with the truth – for starters. Rather than do that very tough work, such a per­son would pre­fer that you shut up. But, the truth is that they are buy­ing what you are not sell­ing. We know who the sales­man is.

From that, we dis­cover that fail­ing to do what’s right because of the fear of sub­se­quent con­se­quences is a form of baldilockssloth. That God hates cow­ards is no mystery.

And on that note, I find myself pray­ing often, that cer­tain peo­ple act deci­sively in the face of legit­i­mate fear. May it be an ironic begin­ning.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2009; the sec­ond edi­tion in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocksJohn-Mccain

I always found the term “fear-monger” to be a tell about the person using it.

A person who mongers is, using the traditional definition, a dealer or a trader who sells a finite set of commodities. The second connotation goes this way:

[the promotion of] a specified activity, situation, or feeling, especially one that is undesirable or discreditable.

Many recall that Senator John McCain (R-AZ), during his 2008 campaign for the presidency, (in)famously stated the following at a townhall meeting:

I want to be president of the United States, and I don’t want Obama to be. But I have to tell you, he is a decent person, and a person that you do not have to be scared [of] as President of the United States.

Six years, many violations of the US Constitution, wars, pestilence and the rumors thereof later, we find that Senator McCain was…right.

The intentional actions of the Obama Administration pose grave threats to our personal survival and our survival as a nation–but we don’t have to be afraid of them. By that, I mean that we don’t have be paralyzed by fear–the overwhelming sense that there is nothing that we can do to thwart our destruction.

A counter-example: many believe–and I am among this number–that members of our legislative and judicial branches are afraid to take meaningful steps to rein in the executive branch. Afraid of what? Only they know for certain. But, assuming the belief is correct, that unnamed fear has immobilized the other two branches. And, as a result, this country has suffered outrage after outrage.

So, Senator McCain was correct, though probably not in the manner he intended.

Back to fear mongering, or the allegation thereof. When you try to warn someone of a reasonably-calculated possible danger and that person calls you a fear-monger, she does it in order avoid acknowledging her own fear. Acknowledging fear is the first step in getting past it and acting decisively in the face of it, armed with the truth–for starters. Rather than do that very tough work, such a person would prefer that you shut up. But, the truth is that they are buying what you are not selling. We know who the salesman is.

From that, we discover that failing to do what’s right because of the fear of subsequent consequences is a form of baldilockssloth. That God hates cowards is no mystery.

And on that note, I find myself praying often, that certain people act decisively in the face of legitimate fear. May it be an ironic beginning.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!