Election of Fear

Fear is a palpable thing in this election. I'm afraid, are you?

My generation learned of fear at an early age, the fear of nuclear annihilation.
Being a child at the dawn of the Nuclear Age came with a number of challenges. In grade school, specifically the fourth grade, atomic bombs blew up in my dreams. It started during the Cuban missile crisis. We lived in Arlington, Virginia, at the time, a mere stone’s throw from Washington, D.C. In that area, the national news IS the local news. I watched the news during that crisis, as did everyone I knew. When I could tell that the newscasters on TV were seriously afraid of what was going on, I knew the situation was dire.

At nine years of age, I knew that if an atomic bomb blew up over the nation’s capitol, Arlington Virginia, would be destroyed, too. Along with my sisters, my parents, and me. There was no where to turn.

My teacher read to us what happened when a nuclear bomb exploded. The flash of light, the mushroom cloud. I’d seen film of such explosions on TV. That’s when the nightmares started. I was on the barren playground of Glen Carlyn Elementary School when the flash went off. I huddled in a ball on the ground, trying to pull the skirt portion of my shirtwaist dress down to cover the bare part of my legs, to prevent burning. The flash of light would burn, we were told. Cover up.

Back then, all girls wore dresses to school all the time. No pants allowed. Dresses with ankle socks. My legs were bare. I knew I needed to cover them up. And I struggled to make that happen.
Never mind that the flash of light would incinerate me, I didn’t know that much, just that I would be burned.

When I finally told my mother about my nightmares she went to see the principal. And I know my mother. She did not ask that talk of nuclear catastrophe in the classroom be stopped, she demanded it. And it did. Somehow, the fact that she had spoken to the principal made me feel better and sleep better.

The crisis passed. Washington is still here. So is Arlington. So am I.

Recently, the nightmares came back. Only, not at night, but in the light of day. Every day. Every time the news is on, or discussed, or a conversation overheard. It’s not about Russian missiles in Cuba, however, it’s about the possibility of a president who is reckless and uneducated about nuclear weapons and who carelessly, thoughtlessly, pushes a button.

Forget running into a terrorist suicide bomber at the Piggly Wiggly in Wilmington; you and I are at much greater danger of being killed by Donald Trump’s ego.

We have a presidential candidate who wants to annihilate America’s enemies. Not just defeat them, but snuff out their existence. He appears to have missed the last seventy years of writings and discussions by military and civilian authorities of the pro’s and con’s of nuclear weapons. He appears to have no knowledge of the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction and has no idea that he could destroy America’s enemies only to have that enemy’s friends strike back at us.

At the same time, he has demonstrated an easily riled ego, an ego that cannot tolerate criticism, let alone insult. He would put his own vanity ahead of the safety of each and every person in this country. Words have meanings and his looseness with language creates problems. Presidential-level problems. This makes him vulnerable to manipulation by America’s enemies. In The Art of War, Sun Tsu’s first rule is Know Your Enemy. The Chinese already have him pegged. Am I afraid? You bet, I am.

I cannot support this man for president of our country.

Who would support such a flawed leader?
Pat McCrory and Richard Burr.
Why?
Party is more important than country. Yes. Party is more important than country. A Republican in the White House, at any cost.

Don’t make your children suffer from nightmares.

Vote Democratic.
Clinton.
Cooper.
Coleman.
Ross.

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Comments

Thank you

Well said. I too recall those days, and what now seems like the silliness of hiding under our desks and shielding our eyes ... as if that would help. (Second grade for me, not fourth.)

But what troubles me more is the fear of some slightly unhinged individual—and it only takes one—listening to Trump's off-hand comments or so-called "jokes" and deciding to take matters into his or her own hands. Trump encourages that stuff, appealing to our basest urges rather than "the better angels of our nature." He promotes the fiction of the Mean World Syndrome, which far too many of the uneducated and uninformed are willing to buy into. The Mean World Syndrome is based on a fiction, but it sure sells a lot of guns. Hearing some of the shouts and the vitriol at Trump rallies causes me a lot more uneasiness—and fear, immediate, gut-churning fear—about the country's future and direction than anything else right now. And it's terrifying and deeply saddening to see this at work in our own state, in Wilmington today.

I remember as a child being

I remember as a child being very aware that Ft. Bragg was 15 miles away and if the nuclear war started we would be hit. I also remember the bomb shelter a neighbor had, stocked with canned goods. Trump is scary. I don't want those anxieties for today's children.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Well done

Thanks for posting this.

Political assassination

Trump's call for violence against Clinton and her possible Supreme Court nominees brought back memories for me of the constant parade of political assassinations and attempted assasinations in this country throughout the 60s and 70s - JFK, MLK, Robert Kennedy, George Wallace, and even Gerald Ford.

It's no coincidence that "wanted" posters for JFK appeared in Dallas before his assassination. It was part of a violent climate of fear that the John Birchers whipped up in the city. Birchers physically attacked Adlai Stevenson shortly before the visit.

While I don't believe in conspiracy theories, the connections between this kind of action and rhetoric and how they're picked up on by potential assassins is well known - they're a catalyst that pushes "lone wolves" to act.

Trump's comments are no different than the veiled violent threats against abortion providers that has led to killings and violence against clinics and staff in recent years.

Trump's apologists quickly circled the wagons, saying he really didn't mean what he said.

He knew full well what he said and the audience he was saying it to.

Trump stood in front of a public rally and pulled a Henry II, saying "Who will rid me of this troublesome woman?"

Nothing in my adult life has disgusted me more about a public political figure and his rabid followers than what I heard Trump say yesterday.

Anyone who apologizes for Trump or still supports him after this doesn't deserve recognition or respect for any view they have to offer at this point. This is the stuff of third-rate banana republics, Communist enclaves, fascist governments, and dictatorial regimes - anyone who supports it has no business running for office or being taken seriously on any topic by the news media or the public.