The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself, Plus What Obama Tells Us to Fear

Obama Oval Saul LoebAP
Saul Loeb/AP

Democrats are leaning very heavily on their talking point about fear of jihad terrorism being irrational, or a phony cover for deep-seated anti-Muslim bigotry out in Flyover Country.

The Obama White House has scarcely been able to get through a public statement since the San Bernardino jihad attack without tut-tutting Americans for being unreasonably frightened of Islamist terrorism.

He was at it again during his flopperoo speech in prime-time on Sunday night – a speech whose primary purpose was giving Obama’s dwindling band of followers something to talk about on social media.

“The threat from terrorism is real,” Obama admitted, “but we will overcome it.  We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us. Our success won’t depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear.  Instead, we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power.”

This immediately raises several questions, such as: Whatever happened to “degrading and ultimately destroying” ISIS?

Suddenly it’s just “destroy,” even though Obama, and virtually everyone in his Administration, spent the last several years awkwardly shoehorning the phrase degrade and ultimately destroy into every public statement. Every time any foreign leader took a stand against the Islamic State, Obama or one of his munchkins raced out to congratulate them for “joining our campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State.” Apparently the San Bernardino attack saw ISIS finally degrading Obama’s credibility enough to make him stop talking about twenty-year strategies to annoy them into oblivion.

Another question: how are we supposed to marshal all the strong, smart, resilient, and relentless power of America against a deadly enemy without “talking tough” about them? When he isn’t trying to ignore them, Obama treats the Islamic State like a schoolyard bully he intends to file a complaint about with the principal, at his earliest opportunity, once he’s finished writing up his homework assignment about how Christmas is an act of cultural appropriation against pagan societies.

Obama took another stand against fear at the end of his speech: “Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear; that we have always met challenges – whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks – by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people. So long as we stay true to that tradition, I have no doubt America will prevail.”

Obama lectures about irrational fear because he devoutly believes all criticism of himself is irrational. He’ll ride the bomb of his presidency all the way to the ground, waving his cowboy hat and whooping it up, and anyone who doesn’t come along for the ride is either a chicken, a racist, or a mindless slave to Republican special interests.

Hectoring people about how concern over ISIS is blind fearmongering is also a way to keep Americans from noticing what an utter disaster Obama has made of the world. True, there have been bipartisan attempts since 9/11 to claim that unless politicians get what they want, “the terrorists will have won,” but here Obama is going for the most childishly simple definition of a terrorist as one who desires terror, and the best way to beat them is refusing to give it to them.

That’s a dangerous, and stupid, way to look at terrorism. Fear is not the objective. Submission is the objective. Above all else, terrorists want civilized people to submit to their demands, and grant their viewpoint legitimacy. They don’t win because civilized people are afraid. They win when the governments of civilized nations are exhausted, and start talking about giving them what they want, to make them stop.

Obama looked exhausted indeed on Sunday night, and his Party has demonstrated a growing willingness to make deals with Islamists and give them what they want, accepting at least some of their demands as legitimate grievances. That’s the thinking behind the nauseating genre of left-wing “victims had it coming” speeches and op-eds, including their Really Deep Thoughts about how free speech doesn’t include the right to offend Muslims, while offending every other religion is the highest form of artistic independence.

What terrorists really want is for civilized people to admit they have legitimate grievances.  Also high on their holiday wish list: lots of helpless soft targets they can kill easily. Liberals are working hard to give Islamist terrorists both of those gifts. Frankly, the terrorists had them at “grievances.” There isn’t much they would rather talk about.

The irony of our Fearmonger-in-Chief lecturing us about irrational phobias is astounding. There hasn’t been a major American politician in recent memory who spent more time trying to scare the hell out of citizens than Barack Obama. He’s constantly telling us to be afraid of our fellow citizens. We’re supposed to be frightened of an insufficiently regulated private sector and its predatory capitalists. We’re supposed to be scared of our racist, sexist, homophobic neighbors. Obama constantly describes opposition to his agenda as malevolence.

Before the current terrorism storyline gripped our national attention, Obama was dishing out idiotic global-warming scare stories that had even climate-change believers shuffling their feet uncomfortably and muttering about him going overboard. Every time he refers to climate change, this President speaks in apocalyptic terms: the end is nigh unless we do what he wants, right now, without asking pesky questions. He’s big on portraying skeptics as a sinister conspiracy out to rape the planet, a pack of predatory fatcats who don’t mind melting the polar ice caps to make a quick buck, in the process submerging the coastal cities they… um… inexplicably live in.

Obama worked hard to stoke fears of misogynism with phony statistics about a “pay gap” imposed on women by mysterious, nameless sexist men… statistics he kept peddling long after they had been debunked.

He beamed warmly upon the racial paranoia unleashed by the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown narratives. Have you heard any Democrats lecture the Black Lives Matter crew on their tendency to abandon American values and give into fear, their reliance on “tough talk,” their refusal to understand that freedom is more powerful than fear? No, it’s all they can do to choke out a declaration that all lives matter, without getting run off the stage by a mob of activists. The Democrat Party is so invested in fearmongering that they consider the statement “all lives matter” to be controversial.

Say a word against the gruesome excesses of Planned Parenthood, and Obama’s crew will instantly accuse you of being a knuckle-dragging primate who wants to destroy a Woman’s Right to Choose out of sheer patriarchal sadism.  Military veterans, Christians, and Tea Party members have all been described as incipient terrorists by this Administration. Democrats have worked for years to inflate the Koch Brothers into supervillains.

Obama has personally blamed oil company conspiracies for high gas prices under his reign, dismissed opposition to ObamaCare as a sadistic urge by Republicans to watch poor people die in the streets, absurdly claimed that the entire U.S. government would instantly collapse if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised – he even threatened to cut off Social Security checks! – and suggested the weak employment numbers characteristic of his Administration were a conspiracy by profiteering employers to cut costs by cutting jobs. Oh, and if they do give you a job, they’re monsters who will stick you with sweat-shop wages for no good reason, unless the government forces them to pay higher wages.

Obama’s still fear-mongering right now, on the very issue at hand. His obsession with the Great Hypothetical Anti-Muslim Backlash stokes fears of toothless gun-toting rednecks itching for an excuse to start burning down mosques. His gun-control agenda, which has absolutely nothing to do with the San Bernardino attackers, is premised on fear of law-abiding Americans who might be driven into bullet-spewing rages. He’s pushing his dizzy “no fly list, no gun” idea by explicitly stoking fears that everyone on that list is too dangerous to risk having a firearm… even though over 70 employees of the Department of Homeland Security are on it.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself… and whatever Barack Obama tells us to fear. His entire Administration has been one big neurotic breakdown, driven by the fear Americans will tear the country to pieces unless they’re taxed and regulated into a stupor. Statism is based on the fear of what free people will do with their freedom. No wonder they can’t work up any apprehension over international terrorism – they spend every day looking out the window and seeing contemptible monsters.