“The Only Thing We Have To Fear…”

Nov 23, 09 “The Only Thing We Have To Fear…”
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This has been an exhausting summer.  Really, it has been an exhausting year.  It has been a year of triumphant optimism.  Yet, there have been times that have pushed the limits of our patience and tolerance.

The healthcare debate has been particularly corrosive, divisive, and counterproductive.  Every step has been hailed as a milestone.  Nevertheless, we are no closer to a healthcare plan.

The Democrats barely got enough votes to begin debating the bill.  Now, according to Senators Liebermann, Lincoln, and a few others there are major parts of the bill that they cannot support.  These senators have enough votes to derail the legislation.

I went to the Tea Parties while I was Washington, D.C a few weeks ago.  I experienced the unfocused anger and vitriol firsthand.  What surprised me was that most of the people were genuinely confused about the legislation.

However, their anger did not stop there.  People are hurt and confused about nearly everything.  Their sense of safety and security is unraveling.  Unemployment continues to rise and economists are predicting that a full recovery could take years.

Even if the economy rebounds considerably, there have been such fundamental shifts in the way we work and how our society even thinks about work, that many people will be unprepared for the future.

I get it.  The future is scary.  I believe that a major part of the anger comes from our increasingly dystopian vision of the world.  However, I get angry with the people in our society who are stirring up this discontent.

Instead of reassuring a worried populace, these irresponsible rabble-rousers are creating a dangerous climate free of civil discourse and devoid of factual analysis.  These appeals to emotion serve no one and make it exceedingly difficult to be heard over the din of anger and fear.

Although those on the left are unsatisfied with the pace of change and many on the right are uncomfortable with change at all, it behooves us not to let disillusionment and disappointment get the better of us.

We are fighting for our future, unstable as it may seem.  If we stay focused on what is important, we will be able to continue fighting for a country that can and deserves to be better and more responsive to needs of its citizens.  This is our enduring hope.  Let no man or woman take that from you.

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