Fear’s Tipping Point

Bruised sky, heavy clouds… As I peer out the window I muse that this day feels like the mood of our nation right now.

Fear…we’ve all experienced it. Fear of creepy, crawly things, fear of heights, fear of the darkness, fear of not being liked. Commonplace fear, although uncomfortable and that which can stop us in our tracks, is not what I am referring to. The type of fear that seems to have gripped our nation right now is irrational, rage-filled, a hatred so red-hot it feels one could be scorched just being in its presence. Has it always been here? I imagine it has. It seems someone or something has cracked open the door and given it oxygen to grow.

“Fear is the most debilitating emotion in the world, and it can keep you from ever truly knowing yourself and others – its adverse effects can no longer be overlooked or underestimated. Fear breeds hatred, and hatred has the power to destroy everything in its path.”  ~  Kevyn Aucoin

It is inconceivable to me that the leader of this country, a country whose ideals embody the strength of a democratic society, is that someone who has breathed life into this fear-based monster. It appears we have become an intellectually lazy society, choosing to believe whatever we see on social media, no matter how outrageous, so it shouldn’t surprise me that we are at this tipping point. Sadly, a constant barrage of lies, vitriolic rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and lack of moral character seem to be the framework by which the man who was elected to lead our country lives his life, and many of us seem to ignore what is happening around us.

Next Tuesday we in America have a choice, really more a civic duty, a duty to vote our conscience. It is time to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to live in, and perhaps more important, what kind of country we want our children and grandchildren to live in. This is so much greater than what the stock market is doing, this must go beyond our own personal needs.

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”  ~  Pema Chödrön

Fear…yes, I feel it. I’d like to think mine is rational, the fear of the hatred that could continue to escalate in this country if we don’t choose wisely next Tuesday. It is time to find the courage to speak out, to speak with our vote the kind of country we wish to live in, the kind of example we want to be for our children and grandchildren. How many more lives have to be lost at the hands of those who fear individuals of different color or religious values? How many more bombs must be sent to those with differing views before we remove our heads from the sand?

“Our enemy is fear. Blinding, reason-killing fear. Fear consumes the truth and poisons all the evidence, leading us to false assumptions and irrational conclusions.”  ~  Rick Yancey

Please vote your conscience next Tuesday. Please vote as if our democracy depended upon it, because it does.

Header photo courtesy of exploringyourmind.com.

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45 thoughts on “Fear’s Tipping Point

  • Interesting thoughts … I’m currently writing something on the same subject and deciding whether or not to post it. I find the current political climate disgusting, but feel it goes well beyond the Chief Tweeter. Senator Feinstein and the media are also to blame for inciting emotions. Unfortunately, I don’t see this political climate changing any time soon and I’m already dreading 2020.

    • I agree that there is plenty of blame to go around but no one, on either side, rises to spewing ugly vitriol like the leader, the one person who should rise above it all. Anyone who belittles women, minorities, mocks a disabled reporter, lies every time he opens his mouth, does not deserve the title that has been bestowed upon him. Words do matter. Didn’t we learn that as children and didn’t we try to teach that to our children? He needs to do more than try to tell the truth. It is a very sad time in our country.

    • There is no equivalence on the left. I’m not suggesting there aren’t people with extreme views or inflammatory rhetoric on the left but to compare Feinstein to the malignant lying narcissist in the White House and the current leaders of the GOP and this administration is absurd.

      Once upon a time, the conservative right knew how to govern and how to work cooperatively with people who didn’t share their philosophy. Their southern strategy which embraced the worst of fanatic Christianity with the worst aspects of southern racism and bigotry has turned on them and consumed them. Once upon a time, I didn’t loathe the GOP. I get to make those observations since I grew up in the deep south and didn’t leave until I was nearly 60. I watched the evolution in real time. Of course, the south has no monopoly on racism bigotry or religious fanatics.

      We are watching the playbook revealed on how to subvert a democratic republic into a nationalist police state. It’s happened before just not here. We aren’t there yet by a long shot and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be but democracies die by fear.

      Jim

      • I didn’t grow up in the deep south but I sadly have to agree with your assessment Jim, at least where we see ourselves at this time. To have the leader of our country proudly announce that he is a nationalist should be alarming to all who embrace democracy.

  • So very well said, Lu! The climate in this country is worrisome. By the looks of the lines at various polling spots here in Clark County, we are all taking part in voicing our opinions. Let’s hope for a positive result from smart thinking and researching.

  • Very well said. We’ve sent in our ballots and are now just waiting for Tuesday to be over.
    On a different note, we can’t believe all the oranges on our trees! Wish you were here 😦

    • Thanks Jim & Gayle. I think the entire country may breathe a sigh of relief when Tuesday is over. I thought you would be pleased with your orange tree. 🙂

  • So sorry you feel this way LuAnn. Fear is debilitating. Fortunately, I see many instances of love and compassion and optimism. I voted by early mail in ballot and so I can mute the increasingly volatile political ads. I concentrate on how I behave, how I conduct my life. One of the ways to stay grounded and calm is to avoid toxic situtions and people. I have a friend whose Doctor told her to get rid of her TV for the sake of her health! Imagine! I don’t think I want to give up the entertainment, but I certainly avoid the rantings and hyperbolic politial discussions. May the Peace that passes all understanding be with you.

    • Thanks for your comment Gale. And for the record, I don’t sit in front of the television listening to all the ugly political ads. That sadly seems to be part of every election. I too see many instances of those who are compassionate and spread loving messages, and I would like to think I am one of those. What I am most concerned about is the ugliness and the lies being spread by the one person who we should look to as our role model, the leader of our country. Mass murders of Jews in Pittsburgh, pipe bombs being sent out to prominent officials, etc. etc. Where will it end? I am gravely concerned about the words our leader uses, as we are listening, and some unfortunately hang on every word he says, as if it were gospel. I did not write this as a Democrat or a Republican, as I have voted across the aisle. I am writing this as a concerned American.

  • Very well written, LuAnn. When we were granted our Green Cards just over three years ago, I was over the moon. Now, I’m not so sure how I feel about being here. It’s really scary how things can change almost overnight. We can’t vote, but are hoping against hope that the outcome will show that the majority of American citizens see through this awful conman who now occupies the highest office in the land. 🙏🏻

    • I understand how you feel Sylvia. I am a US citizen and I’m not sure how I feel about being here right now. I have to have hope that saner minds will prevail.

  • You’ve made a strong statement and a timely reminder to vote and vote well. I join you in hoping and praying that on Tuesday Nov. 6 the pendulum begins to swing back to honesty, decency, courage and compassion in this country. Right thinking, right speech, right action and right livelihood. We deserve nothing less but we must work to make it happen.

    • I agree. It is going to take all of our voices to move back to a space of honesty and decency, speaking to each other respectfully, and politicians working across the aisle.

  • I still don’t understand exactly how this travesty has happened to our country. The best I can figure is that it’s the result of ignorance and fear, which I believe is exactly what you’re saying, LuAnn. We all need to keep speaking out, as you do so eloquently, but the problem is that almost everyone I talk to feels the same as I do. I vote (of course!), make donations, write emails, sign petitions…and then I just have to trust that we can turn this around.

    • I do believe it is based on abject fear, which has manifested into rage and hatred. The ignorance, I believe, is because we have become lazy, willing to believe whatever we hear or read on social media, no matter how outrageous. I still try to take the time to find the truth, looking at many sides of a story, as do many who believe as we do. Unfortunately there is a radical sub-set in this country that feed into conspiracy theories and and there is at least one well-known TV news network who has become just that. Based on what you shared above Laurel, I believe you are doing all you can do right now. Even writing blog posts seem futile as most who read our posts are like-minded. Those who aren’t don’t seem to be very open-minded to have a dialogue. Let’s hope we can all wake up from this nightmare soon.

  • Very well written. I too am hoping for change come Tuesday! Praying that our country will rise up and VOTE wisely.

    I too have voted on both sides of the aisle many many times. But not this year!! My ballot has been sent in and I am praying that our country seeks change and heals from this ugliness!

    • Thanks for taking the time to respond Nancy. I, like you, am not voting across the aisle this year. Until there is a true Republican party again (and not the party of Trump), I don’t understand how anyone can.

  • Hi LuLu and Terry, Gayl and I have decided that it sure is depressing to read what our elected leader tweets or says each day Voting Day on November 6th is also my birthday so we are hoping
    that my best birthday present would be that the at least, the House will become Democratic and at the very least some semblance of evenness will enable our country to achieve a more balanced perspective, as we go into the next two years………….RogG

    • The news each day is almost unbearable. The level of stress that this man has bestowed on this country has to be at a record high. No matter what happens on the 6th, I feel that sanity will not find its way back into our political environment for some time. The damage this man has created will not easily be undone. On a lighter note, I hope you and Gayle are well and that your special day is that and more. Hugs!

  • Thank you, LuAnn. It takes courage to put yourself out there as you have in this post. While I agree with you, it saddens me that conditions in this country caused you to have to write it. Unlike some, I don’t think putting our heads in the sand and just paying attention to our own small sphere of life will be enough to change the climate of this country. We need to step out of our comfort zones, as you have done with this post, to try to bring humanity back into politics and life in general. Blessings.

    • Thanks for your comment Julianne. Since the election in 2016 I have stepped outside of my comfort zone relative to politics on more occasions that I care to think about. Unfortunately I think it is going to take this from all of us in order to bring some sanity back into our lives. It is obvious that our politicians aren’t getting it done. We need to stand up and tell them what we need from them. We can all start by having our voices heard at the voting booths. I see people putting their heads in the sand. I hear people saying they are just going to pray for our leader. Neither of those who affect the change we need. Action is needed by everyone. Ok, I’m stepping off my soapbox now. Blessings to you my friend.

  • LuAnn, sadly the problem is not that we need to take our heads out of the sand. The problem is that now half of the country, more or less, is perfectly happy with the state of discord, surge in racism, fear mongering etc. In fact they feed on it.

    SO, yes, getting our head out of the sand may result in a few percent of Democrats and independents making the effort to go and vote but the real issue is that this is no longer about one vile man. Nor even about a vile group of hypocritical Republican congressional leaders who have jettisoned decades of Republican values and priorities for the immediacy of sharing a moment with the 45th president. The problem now, is a societal problem where people are armed with guns, facts no longer matter, the fear button has been switched on and if history teaches us anything it is that this genie does not go back into the bottle.

    Tuesday is yet another turning point but anything short of an overwhelming defeat will be ridiculed as fake news and the chaos will continue. Not enough to win by a few percent.

    Ben

    • Thank you so much for your comment Ben. I do believe there is still a sub-set of our society that refuses to believe what they are seeing and hearing, continuing on as if nothing has changed in their party, as if the leader has not hijacked their party. I do agree with you that we have a huge societal problem, with facts no longer of any concern, people armed with guns, violence spilled across the airwaves daily, etc. etc. So if what you say is true, what do we do about it? Can we fight it?

  • Wonderful post. I pray that people have put aside there hatred for Hillary, and now see the light, Everyday I just cringe when I hear not-my- president open his mouth. Just like the song Meghan Trainor sings….I know your lying; your lips are moving, that says it all about those in the White House. I hope your post truly moves those to vote. We need a change NOW.

    • The fear-mongering is abhorrent and I don’t think it is going to end until we get this man out of office. I will never be able to wrap my head around how people can ignore his amoral behavior, his lack of compassion, his bigotry. I watched John Kasich being interviewed by Nicole Wallace yesterday and wondered again why someone of such upstanding character could not get the traction he deserved during the 2016 election debates. He exemplifies just what we need right now – compassion, civility, level-headedness. Those values seem to be lost on so many right now. Aren’t those some of the traits we value? What kind of future are we creating for our children and grandchildren?

      • Oh my gosh, girlfriend. We saw John on Nicole’s program too! Paul and I said the same thing about him. Even when the debates were going on, we both said that this man should be the candidate. I would have really weighed my vote between Hillary and John. He did really good for Ohio. We are watching Nicole now, and we both LOVE Steve Schmidt. We didn’t like him during the election, but he saw the light and does an excellent job on MSNBC. He just talked about Lindsey Graham. He ran that guy through the gutter. What he said was so true. I have said so many prayers about this election and will continue till it is over. America IS Great!

      • I totally agree with you my friend. What I love most about John Kasich is his compassion and civility. Those traits could not gain traction during the 2016 election, which says a lot about our society. We too LOVE Steve Schmidt. I don’t know all that happened with him during the 2016 election but I certainly am impressed with him now. He is speaking now as I type this. Praying for saner minds to prevail tonight.

  • LuAnn thank you for writing this post. I have not had the courage to even address or touch politics on my blog. Our country is so incredibly divided and my feelings about being an American and realizing what half of this country believes in, supports and stands for, makes me so sick to my stomach that I wish I could leave. I guess what shocks me is not that such a disgusting monster and party is in office but that half of our country openly supports this rhetoric of hatred, racism and so forth. It just makes me sick. Thank you for writing and also having the courage to address this. I don’t know where we are headed but it scares me. The only saving grace is knowing that my own children are growing up so open minded and loving that I have some hope that the younger generation will solve this. It is just that 50% of the country is teaching their own children to hate.

    • I am sickened as well Nicole. It feels like the gates of hell have been opened by this administration, giving hate and racist behavior free license. It is shocking to see so many embracing the behavior of a malignant narcissist. Has half of the country always felt this way but didn’t feel at liberty to express their true feelings? It sickens me to be living among such individuals. I have to admit that I am embarrassed to be an American right now. Having traveled outside the country, as you have, I understand the beauty of diversity. Thankfully your children have learned this at an early age, because I do believe it will be placed on the shoulders of the youth to solve this tragedy. I didn’t feel the least bit inclined to follow the politics in our country until 2016, which is probably true of many. I feel the need to step back from all the madness and stress, but also feel the need to share my voice, until we get back to a better place in this country.

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