The Value of Anxiety
“These are the times that try men's souls... Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt…the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered…” –Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, December 1776
I've lost the source for the following paragraph, it may have been the New York Post.
Kerry & Co. denounce Bush for running a campaign of fear. But
we could have used a bit more fear when Bill Clinton failed
to prepare us for the threat of terror. If only he had been
more afraid of terror, he might have given the go-ahead to
the 1998 CIA plan to kidnap Osama bin Laden or not tipped off
the Pakistanis and through them bin Laden to our cruise
missile attack in 1998 or given the green light to fire
missiles at Osama in 1999 when the CIA said we had the best
chance ever to get him.
A little fear back then would have helped a great deal
In 2016 candidate Donald Trump proposed a temporary moratorium on Muslim immigration. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) responded by pushing a bill that would block Trump from instituting the temporary halt on Muslim immigration if he were ever to be elected.
“It’s very narrow in scope,” said Beyer of his Freedom of Religion Act. “We’re not going to discriminate when it comes to immigration based on religion.” He added that his bill was intended to “appeal to hope rather than fear.”
Robert Spender wrote:
"In our pusillanimous and puerile age, “fear” is not just a weakness of character, but a moral flaw: if you fear being beheaded or blown up by Islamic jihadists, you’re an evil person. ...
What Beyer is offering is “hope” and a rejection of “fear.” We should “hope” that there will be no jihadis among the immigrants. We should “hope” that there will not be another jihad attack a la San Bernardino perpetrated by another refugee like Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino jihad murderer who had passed five separate background checks from five separate U.S. government agencies. We should “hope” that the Islamic State will not make good on its threat to send jihadis into Europe and North America among the refugees. We should “hope” that we can continue to pursue self-destructive and suicidal policies without suffering any negative consequences....To reject all of Beyer’s “hopes” would be, in his view, to succumb to “fear,” and remember: fear is morally wrong.
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